Monday, 11 April 2011

Doghouse (2009)

 Written by Happywax on April 11 2011
 Rating 7 out of 10

 Director  -  Jake West

 Danny Dyer         -   Neil
 Noel Clarke        -   Mikey
 Emil Marwa        -   Graham
 Lee Ingleby         -   Matt
 Keith-Lee Castle -   Patrick
 Christina Cole      -   Candy

 Directed by Jake West, Doghouse stars Stephen Graham as a soon-to-be-divorced loser, who allows his loutish best friends – womaniser Danny Dyer, hen-pecked Noel Clarke, slobbish Emil Marwa, geeky fanboy Keith-Lee Castle and latecomer Lee Ingleby – to persuade him to travel to an isolated village for a drunken weekend. However, when they get there, they find all the men dead and the village overrun by psychotic female zombies, so they have to use all their wits to survive.

 The premise of the film is brilliantly trashy (a bunch of misogynistic beer drinking buddies have to fight off ravenous zombie women) and the film delights in giving each character his comeuppance in a variety of gruesome or repulsive ways. The script also has some nice ideas and some of its more ridiculous moments (characters having to dress as women to escape) pay off brilliantly.

The performances are excellent. Clarke is extremely funny (and nabs most of the best lines), while Castle is great as the handy-to-have-around film nerd and Danny Dyer is clearly having a great time turning his usual obnoxious routine up to 11. There's also a treat for old school Doctor Who fans, as Mary Tamm (aka First Romana) turns up as a politician who may hold the key to what's happened

In addition, the gore and make-up effects are well handled and West strikes the right balance between humour and gross-out repulsion, even if the film's never actually scary. The only real problem is that the plot frequently feels sloppy and squanders a few obvious opportunities for gags or shocks.

Essentially, Doghouse might be trashy and stupid in places, but at least it knows what it's doing and manages to deliver some actual laughs. Forgettable Friday night fare, but worth seeing nonetheless.

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