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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 73: Doghouse

Maybe "Bro Movie" was the original title

Mancaves. Bromance. Mancession. All of these stupid made-up words and concepts annoy me. I mostly see it as insecure men grasping at straws in a vain attempt to reclaim some sort of relevance they once thought they had. It's also a scam to get men to buy expensive grills and put flat screen tvs in their garage. But hey, that's just me. If a horror movie is deeply entrenched in misogyny, much like those ideas, can the movie still be entertaining?

Doghouse tells the story of seven friends, all having trouble in their respective relationships, going on a weekend trip to the small English town of Moodley. Vince (Stephen Graham, Snatch, Boardwalk Empire) is going through a difficult divorce and has become a shell of the man he used to be. Joined by womanizer Neil, nerdy Matt, homosexual Graham, Patrick, and Mikey, they arrive in the town of Moodley to discover the town appears to be abandoned. Their perpetually late friend Banksy is, of course, running late. When they finally see a woman walking down the street, she is attacked by a man in military uniform. The rescue her only to have her stab Neil. They are able to knock her out and see that she is some sort of zombie. Various infected women come out and try to kill the men in various ways. It is revealed that a biological weapon has been released in the town through washing powder and only women are affected. The soldier reveals that he has a secret weapon, a sonic device that can emit a high-pitched sound only women can hear. Unfortunately, it doesn't work and he is soon killed by Mikey's zombified grandmother. Will these men be able to survive this onslaught of bloodthirsty women and be able to survive their midlife crises?

Well, there are more terrible ways to go than this

As if you couldn't tell, Doghouse is very much written by a man for men. Having women in general as your main horror villains comes off as something a pre-teen boy would come up with. I mean, I can laugh at something ridiculous like the Man Show, but this movie felt like it went a bit overboard. When Vince has his big revelation towards the end of this man-centric adventure, you'd think it would be something about acceptance and understanding of women, but no, it's even more misogynistic than before. It's like if at the end of Train Spotting, the characters decide that heroin IS the answer and dive nose-first into a kiddie pool filled with H.

All that being said, it does answer the question of “can it be entertaining?” The answer is “kind of.” The comedy is decent, but it doesn't possess a lot of laugh out loud moments like, say, Shaun of the Dead. Maybe it's because both are horror comedies and both are British, but Doghouse definitely had a strong feeling of being Shaun of the Dead-lite. The comedy just wasn't as good and even the horror parts weren't as scary. Doghouse has far more blood, gore, and creative killing, but its so goofy that you're never actually scared. The acting is good all around and the makeup on the monsters is very well done. 

Just your average day at Super Cuts

Doghouse does have it's entertaining moments both as a comedy and a horror movie. A decent, if not simple, story is complimented by good acting and lots of blood and guts. All that being said, it's still very hard to get around all the woman-bashing. Was the writer treated so horribly by a woman that he needed to pen a full-length movie to bash the entire gender? It's really up to the audience to decide if they can look past all of that and enjoy the movie. If you can do that, Doghouse has it's moments, but you'll still feel very dirty.


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