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  Breed, The Pack Of Trouble
Year: 2006
Director: Nicholas Mastandrea
Stars: Michelle Rodriguez, Oliver Hudson, Taryn Manning, Eric Lively, Hill Harper, Nick Moraine, Lisa-Marie Schneider
Genre: Horror, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: A young couple are out sailing when the female half realises they might well be lost, but her boyfriend assures her he knows exactly where they are, and besides he's more interested in getting intimate. She manages to put him off by pointing out the island that is up ahead, and intrigued they guide the boat towards it. On landing, there does not appear to be anyone about, and the girlfriend ventures into the woodland without waiting for her other half; she has got only so far when she gets the feeling she is being watched, then that there is something in the undergrowth tracking her... and she would be right about that...

The Breed was a Wes Craven production, but don't go anticipating the heights of his best work here in what was a fairly run of the mill horror movie, which being made in the twenty-first century had more than its share of action thrown in and any genuine suspense thrown out at its expense. It was reminiscent of those revenge of nature shockers that abounded in the nineteen-seventies, as the main villains here conjure up memories of Day of the Animals, where the main threat constituted a pack of wild dogs who, amongst the other countryside creatures, decide to go on the attack whenever they spot humans.

If you wished to go back further, then The Breed was even more reminiscent of that old fifties monster movie The Killer Shrews; in that the menaces of the title were supposed to be genetically modified (and therefore much increased in size) shrews, which in effect were painfully obvious to be played by Alsatians sporting fangs. How coincidental that the threat to our horny college student protagonists should be played by... genetically modified Alsatians, only this time they sport their own fangs. It's as if the writers caught The Killer Shrews on late night television and a little lightbulb popped into existence above their heads: what a great idea for a remake!

Alas, there are no scenes of the cast shuffling along while protected from being bitten by large bins, although they are no less resourceful, sometimes experts on whatever subjects it takes for them to survive, which keeps the plot barrelling along, but leaves whatever credibility you were hoping for somewhat stranded. Not quite as stranded as the five students are, of course, and after a lead up to the mayhem that spells out the relationships of the characters, they happen to find a little puppy who we can tell is intended to lull them into a false sense of security regarding the wildlife. The actual talents of the pooches are never made wholly clear, but we are told enough to know they can work out a way to trap their potential victims.

Not a bad premise for a thriller, and in truth this isn't completely terrible, it simply doesn't aim very high. It also commits the sin of making the first victim of the monsters the black guy (Hill Harper), a terrible cliché that you might have hoped would have died out during the first slasher cycle but is present here in a letdown of lazy scriptwriting. There are other aspects that could have been better thought out as well, as for instance the part where the lead actress, Michelle Rodriguez, sets off an explosion she could not have possibly lived through, yet the next time we see her she hasn't a singe on her. Elsewhere, the influence of survival horror is apparent, so The Breed fits into that genre as well, but the best you can say about this is that director Nicholas Mastandrea manages to avoid showing any wagging tails, and Rodriguez again proved she really should have been in better movies. Music by Marcus Trumpp.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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