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"Is this a joke? "

Oct 21st, 2009

The only reason I wanted to watch this was for Emily Booth's involvement. I'm a big fan of hers and have watched the majority of the crap she's appeared in. Ms. Booth is a lot better presenter than actor (currently the voice of zone horror) but that has yet to deter me. What should have though was the fact this was directed by Jake West, who lets this man keep making movies?

I knew going in that this was going to be a demonic battle of the sexes but that was it (read that off Booth's official website). During the opening ten minutes of the film I was horrified, the cast was populated with every irritating cockney twat from the British media. Each of these actors individually I could stomach but together, this was a mighty struggle. Danny Dyer (Severance), Steven Graham (Snatch), Noel Clarke (Kidulthood), Keith-Lee Castle (Young Dracula) and a bunch of other nobheads – this was not my idea of a great cast.

The guys head to a village in the middle of nowhere to help one of theirs get over his recent divorce. Upon arriving in the town they discover every woman has turned into a not-quite-zombie, man-hating creature.

First up this film wants to be the Evil Dead, references begin from the opening sequence and all the zombified chicks are similar to the demonic possessed in the Dead flicks. Evil Dead this is not, the leads are all dullards and hardly sell any of the scenes of terror, these cockney guys are just too 'ard. The comedy is terrible and just doesn't gel with the horror scenes.

I don't know why but I've seen all of West's movies from Razor Blade Smile to Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes and all have the same problems; they are all cheap low budget flicks with ideas above their station. All the films are littered with corny jokes that are more miss than hit and horrific scenes that never deliver on tension. Doghouse is no different.

I must say the film does look good, the production values are high. This seems to be a recurring theme with recent British horror they all look great it's just a shame the content's not up to scratch. There are some great gore scenes and that's all the positives I can find.

The music is strangely dramatic in all the wrong places, finding a dead sheep on the road the music blares out as if something important has happened. This is the countryside people, sheep die.

The storyline is my main gripe, the setup's fine, all the guys have women troubles and travel to the village of Moodley. Once they get there all the women are already infected, we get no build up, no transformation scenes. With no interaction with the villagers prior makes all the women faceless beasts (why hire Emily Booth for this? waste of money there), I couldn't care less why they were the way they were. The guys then spend an hour running from them and the film ends.

I'm not gonna bother separating each actor and their abilities as all of them play the same brash dipshit. The women are all put into different stereotypes, one of the "zombies" is wearing a wedding dress, one's a fat slob, one's a hairdresser blah blah blah, boring.

I had a hard time figuring out what the threat of these women was meant to be, when we are first introduced to them they seem to be a genuine danger. The first demon chick tries to kill the men, actually stabbing Danny Dyer's character. When I saw this I thought the film was going to have huge cojones by killing off the lead, no such luck. Later in the film its all played for laughs – "zombie" slags rub themselves on Dyer rather than trying to kill him. The tone's a bit schizophrenic.

For every review I write I add a quote from the movie as an opener. I strive to find something relevant to the way I felt while watching each flick. None more apt than this one. "Is this a joke?" is exactly how I felt as those words were uttered. Avoid this film. Avoid Jake West. 2/10 (the extra point for Emily)

Best Kill
Billy Murray has a headache

Noel Clarke plays a character called Mikey, similar to his character's name in Doctor Who.
Emily Booth's in this film you know.
Basically a horror film version of Loaded.

Director: Jake West
Screenplay: Dan Schaffer
Released: 2009
Rating: 18
Starring: Danny Dyer, Stephen Graham, Lee Ingleby, Terry Stone, Noel Clarke, Emily Booth

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