Not to be confused with Cronenberg’s ‘The Brood’, ‘The Breed’ can only loosely be described as a creature/monster film in that the organisms terrorising the group in this particular film are a rabid, genetically modified but normally proportioned Alsatian dogs (although at one point one of the characters makes out that they are much bigger, but they looked normal to me and as live dogs were used I think I can safely say they were!).
The film begins with a group of university students looking to spend a ‘party weekend’ on a deserted island which two of the group spent some of their childhood days on. So in they fly, and before long one of their number have been attacked by one of the aforementioned dogs. It’s only after much debate about the source of these dogs that one of the brothers remembers that also on the island, aside from their one log cabin, was a dog training facility which had been abandoned. It turns out that the dogs are the remnants of the facilities subjects.
As you can probably tell from my tone I wasn’t overcome with the need to praise this film. Probably the most severe of its flaws is that, to be honest, the dogs aren’t exactly the most terrifying adversary and the characters over-the-top reaction to the presence of such ‘creatures’ is absurd. First of all, every time the group even see a dog they drop trousers and shit themselves, at one point they decide to hold themselves up in their cabin, securing all doors and windows ala night of the living dead. It worked for zombies, it don’t work for dogs. Later in the film they discover the abandoned research centre, all equipment just abandoned and the dogs were left to turn feral, similar to Jurassic park, although these are no Tyrannosaurus which are terrorising our group, just the Rex. (Sorry about that!).
Now before anybody writes in to criticise I’m well aware that dogs are extremely ferocious and can easily incapacitate and fatally wound a human, however the dogs in this film are portrayed to be calculating and efficient killing machines and its just the situations the group are forced into are a little silly and I never really got over it, I mean these dogs actually manage to pick the group off one by one just like a serial killer would in a slasher film!
If the plot alone was not silly enough there are several other little sub plots which are hinted at but never developed, if the writers of this film intended people to discuss these, formulating hypothetical outcomes, then I think they were a little delusional.
The only thing saving this film from ‘The List’ is that it does have a couple of redeeming qualities, first is that the dog handling is amazing. No CGI was used and for most of the film (aside from when a dog gets killed) no puppets were used. The dogs’ acting was at times better than that of the casts. The second point is that every time a dog attacks it is accompanied by a large jump inducing noise, this at least keeps the viewer entertained the first few times.
Overall this film is probably one where you will sit and watch it, happily taking it as it comes, but as the credits role will turn to your mates and say something to the effect of “well that was a load of bollocks”. It’s not the worst, just instantly forgettable. Instead of this film I would recommend a British film entitled ‘Wilderness’ as it too contains killer dogs but is far superior in plot, characters and gore.