In the film, a group of soldiers head out for what should be a relatively simple military exercise in the Scottish highlands. In fact, their biggest worry is that their missing a big football match whilst traipsing around the woods. Everything goes to pot as the sun begins to set and they come across the corpses of their exercise opponents...well, it's more like they come across lots of red and goo where the corpses should be. Before long, the soldiers are holed up in a remote farmhouse as a pack of hungry hungry
Dog Soldiers certainly bears a resemblance to the film that would follow along a couple of years later, The Descent. A small group of elite, trained professionals goes into the wilderness expecting a cakewalk for their scheduled activities. Instead, they're put on the defensive by a group of vicious monsters. Both films get the audience's blood pumping and don't skimp on showing the blood flowing...and both films owe a little debt to James Cameron's Aliens.
Where the films vary greatly, however, is in the amount of humor. The only humor found in The Descent was there to ease the tension- and even then it was very spare. The first two-thirds of Dog Soldiers, while peppered somewhat liberally with clever lines, are action-packed, brutal, and at times terrifying. In fact, I was surprised to find myself so enamoured with a werewolf movie. The werewolves here are huge and far more vicious than what you find in, say, An American Werewolf in London. They're much tougher and much smarter, retaining more than a little of their human consciousness.
Towards the end, however, the film begins to veer towards Evil Dead horror/comedy territory and it was a bit jarring. Rather than continuing as a straightforward monster movie (a genre which inherently has whiffs of B-Movies, I realize), the film almost becomes a parody of itself and American action films before you know what's happening. It manages to remain a bit shy of completely far-fetched, but it does begin to feel rushed, or as if Marshall wasn't sure exactly how to end this thing.
This isn't to say I didn't enjoy the film- it is a monster movie after all. I enjoyed it very much- I was simply a bit surprised when it shifted slightly off-course. Nonetheless, it gets 8.25 out of 10 furballs.