In a world where there just aren't enough good old-fashioned werewolf flicks around, this little entry from Neil Marshall acquits itself as one of the true standouts.
From the opening sequence, it's obviously a werewolf film; however, it's setting and clever, witty writing set it apart from so many others; only 'The Howling' and 'An American Werewolf in London', in my opinion, share such depth and enjoyment in their composure. Comparisons to both 'Predator' and 'Aliens' are accurate in a lot of respects, but this film was by far original enough to stand alone without being a rip off of either of those movies.
For an independent film, it's production values are stellar, as is the acting. In my meanderings, I spent a good bit of time around British soldiers in the Gulf War, and watching this film was like being back there again. Each of the actors played his part efficiently and convincingly: Sean Pertwee, as always, performed his role to the hilt, completely believable in both his command capacity and his compassion for those under his command; Kevin McKidd was perfect in the part of the killing machine with a conscience; Liam Cunningham was both sophisticated and suitably grimy as the secretive black-ops commander; and the rest of the ensemble cast played off of each other remarkably well. As one who's been around it, I can tell you that it was an accurate portrayal of a combat unit under duress.
Add to all of this wonderful practical special effects (the werewolves are some of the scariest I've seen, and the gore is plentiful without being ridiculous), smart, snappy dialogue that pays homage to a great deal of pop culture, and the foreboding, misty forests of Scotland, and you have a werewolf feature that should impress anyone.
Highly recommended to fans of werewolves, 'last-stand' pictures, and horror films in general, particularly of the independent variety.
Careful of the wolfbane blooms when the autumn moon is bright, kiddies!