Doghouse (2009)

Doghouse (2009)

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Boys will be boys...
Boys will be boys…

Twitter Plot Summary: A group of lads go on a trip only to find themselves surrounded by flesheating women.

Five Point Summary:

1. That place looks a bit empty…
2. Remote control cars. Boys will be boys.
3. She likes fingers.
4. Scissor death!
5. Squished by the fatty.

Summing up the Nuts generation in a single movie, Doghouse sees a group of “lads” go on a holiday to a small village in the middle of nowhere in a bid to cheer up one of their number, Vince, who has recently gone through a divorce. Arriving in the village of Moodley, they find it seemingly empty. Noticing a few extremely odd occurrences – a bloody handprint on a fence, the odd severed limb and a few dead bodies (standard small village fare, is it not?), all is not as it seems. Before long, the women of the town emerge with a hunger for man flesh and it becomes an attempt to stay alive and get out of town. Just in case we were to ever get them confused, they all sport clearly identifiable costumes (obviously designed by a man given how revealing they are) and “powers” for want of a better term. A bride carries an axe, a hairdresser has scissors, there’s a fat woman, and so on.

The misogyny is evident from the start, specifically in the form of Danny Dyer’s Neil. He claims that women love him and, to an extent, that proves to be the case, but his attitude towards women is supposed to be funny and slightly endearing when in fact it just stinks. This attitude is played upon throughout, so the writers and filmmakers are definitely aware of its existence, but there’s no attempt made at giving it an ironic twist or justifying it in any form of postmodern context. Men, like those represented here, will always be derogatory towards women and that will forever be the case, sadly.

The tone is broadly comedic with some hard gore thrown into the mix. The story opens with an attempt at foreshadowing by referencing The Evil Dead and stating categorically that they’re not zombies – shame really as the women in Moodley do all stagger around as if they’re card carrying members of the undead. The effects in this instance are superb, defying the resolutely low budget by providing levels of gore and undead-esque make-up that horehounds will love.

They were women, once.
They were women, once.

A number of opportunities are wasted in terms of the final resolution for many of the characters. Not that there is much depth to any of them – they are broadly drawn and not given much time to develop beyond having one or maybe two defining quirk or characteristic. There’s the obligatory geek, the mid-life crisis divorcee, the slightly dumb guy, the forgetful one, the one with anger management issues, etc. There’s also Danny Dyer’s misogynist, a focal point for all that is wrong with the film’s attitude towards gender.

Furthermore the situation they find themselves in doesn’t get anywhere near enough explanation and feels like a cut-price version of a Neil Marshall film. The closest the script gets to being just a little bit clever is in that each one of the characters is in the proverbial doghouse, for various reasons, when they set out on their journey. This again does not get the right amount of time it deserves and should have been developed more, but instead is almost forgotten about as the small scale violence and male bonding kicks in.

Still, despite its many faults, Doghouse remains an entertaining 90 minutes, even if it’s mostly vacuous and entirely lacking in depth. It’s a film clearly aimed at a specific audience, and they will likely lap it up. For the rest of us more enlightened folk, Doghouse makes it abundantly clear that men will always be big kids, and that’s not likely to ever change.

Score: 2.5/5

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