The Breed
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2007
I was discouraged by some of the negative reviews of this movie on this site, but decided to grab a beer and my cat and watch it anyway. I found it to be fairly enjoyable. Granted, some of the dialog was insipid and some of the characters really did deserve to be chewed on by wild dogs, but I felt that (unlike most horror movies) the cast's actions and reactions were reasonable. The acting was better than average for this genre, the story was interesting, and the dog scenes were quite impressive considering that (despite some misinformation in other reviews) there was no CGI involved. They actually relied on well-trained attack dogs to perform all the stunts. Judging from my cat's growling and hissing, the dog's acting was exceptional. Also, for us animal lovers, be sure to view the special features to see the clever ways they avoided hurting any of the dogs during the filming. It seems that some of the actors actually did get chewed on, but at least the dogs were safe.

Some reviewers suffer from critical snobbery. They are anxious to find fault in films to convince us of their sophistication. Let's face it, this movie isn't going to end up on Roger Ebert's top ten list, but it definitely deserves more than one or two stars. Save your scathing reviews for really awful films like The Green River Killer. My advice is to grab a beer and your cat and give this DVD a chance.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 14, 2008
Not since Cujo has man's best friend become his worst enemy. Whereas the previous attacks were caused by rabies, this time around it's the result of genetic engineering gone wrong.

A group of young friends make their way to an isolated island where they expect to spend a wild time full of drinking, partying, and debauchery. What they find instead is a large pack of vicious dogs protecting their island; or, as one character put it, "scary-a@# lassies" looking for food. Although, one scene in which dogs are swimming after a person is completely hilarious, because we all know that in the water, human is far superior. It would have just been a matter of holding breath, and drowning a few dogs. As for real plot, it's simply Darwinian, survival of the fittest.

I'm sure there is a morality lesson about playing God in there somewhere, but I didn't care and I hardly noticed.

With nice special effects, production, cinematography, and pretty fair acting, it's what one would expect from a Wes Craven production. The acting is particularly astute (especially the four-legged actors), and aside from Michelle Rodriguez, the cast is comprised of pretty good young actors who we've all seen before, but can't name. Actually, the thing that's great about Rodriguez is crystal clear in this movie. Even as a leading lady, she can't shake the "tough" chick persona. I was waiting for her to snap a dog's spine over her knee during the entire movie.

It has typical horror elements, like the moron who descends into the basement towards his demise - in this case genetically engineered, mutant dogs with a taste for human flesh - is waiting in the dark. At times the idiocy makes you want to scream at the screen, "Climb a tree genius!" Thankfully, however, the "black guy dies first"-rule isn't followed until Noah (Hill Harper) provides some laughs with funny one-liners like "crazy-a&* old yellers". Given the concept, it's more advanced than one would think, with one great scene where the dogs make their eventual assault on the cabin - straight from a classic zombie movie. The story and character development is crisp, creating just enough empathy for the characters and their predicament, however unreal it may be.

I recommend this highly for horror fans, and only mildly for others.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 13, 2007
This movie was better than I expected it would be. The script allowed for some genuine character development. The 20's-somethings who gather on this remote island for a weekend vacation are given a range of sympathetic qualities, some stake in life - so we care about their fates.

It's the dogs who are the real stars of this show though. The close-ups of their intent brown eyes draw you into the canine mind. The producers/director of this film prided themselves on the fact that no computer-generated graphics were used. All the dogs in action are real dogs. Some dogs were Hollywood veterans imported to the site of the film shoot (which was South Africa) with their trainers; others were local dogs enlisted and trained on the spot.

The reasons given for the dogs' aggression in the movie are unfortunately muddled - a defect in the plot line. On the one hand, the young people discover that these dogs are the result of some genetic engineering that seemed to have been wrought on the dogs' ancestors. But on the other hand, people who are bitten by the dogs soon develop some strange illness, a malaise spotted with outbreaks of rage. This would suggest a viral or bacterial infection that isn't quite rabies, but that threatens to be a fatal biological time-bomb nonetheless. We are almost led to suspect a transmission of werewolf tendencies, recreating Lon Chaney's Jr.'s frequent film fate.

As impressive as the dogs frequently are, they could have been used to greater effect. Their attacks are too sudden and predictable. There is none of the slowly gathering menace found in "The Birds."

Also, one of the characters is made to pronounce the all-too-trite indictment of any meddling with nature. To the extent that an eccentric uncle's genetic engineering is held responsible for these dogs' temperaments, he receives the ultimate reproof - "He was trying to play God!" Oh, if only once biological tinkering was allowed to result in something other than a tragic lesson against hubris.

This DVD doesn't have any Director's Commentary on it, which was a little disappointing. Since horror mavens Wes Craven and Nick Mastandrea were both involved in the making of this film, it would have been informative to hear their tag-along philosophizing about the genre.

However, there is an interesting extra showing how the dogs were trained and made to appear to be crunching into their victims. Hardly any of the human stars of this movie were left unscathed by the rehearsals or actual filmings. The dogs sometimes missed their decoy targets and chomped into real flesh. So the attacks you see are often more fact than fiction.

Overall, this movie probably won't be one of the most memorable you'll ever watch, but it does have some bite to it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
One of the first "scare" movies I saw in the 70's as a kid, was a movie called "The Pack". It was basically a pack of dogs acting in the same vein as the shark in "Jaws". Now comes the idea redone as "The Breed". Honestly, I didn't expect much from this movie. But it is really well done. A lot of horror movies in the 70's were not necessarily by the numbers, genre pictures. They were dramatic movies with a few horrific elements thrown in. In those type of movies, you actually got to know the characters and saw them interact in a realistic way before something both scary and plausible happened to them. That is exactly what this movie is and it is a reliable good time for any late night cable viewing or to own. Apparently, after reading the other reviews here, the audience of today has come to expect a formula that "The Breed" does not fit into. I love sex and violence just as much as the next guy, but when was the last time you saw believable characters in a low budget horror? For me, probably it was "Dead Mary". So this doesn't feature a Jason like hacker, or blood and guts, so what? This was well thought out, acted, written, and directed. What has happened to audiences that they can't stand a decent story without scare, pause, scare, pause, scare...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2007
Imagine CUJO then multiply it by ten, and you get WES CRAVEN'S THE BREED. It's kind of like a slasher movie, only with dogs. Characters wander off alone, and then are attacked. There's no phone, and the movie takes place at a cabin in the middle of nowhere so there's no chance of anyone coming to the rescue.
THE BREED is a fun little action/horror movie with plenty of jump-out-of-your-seat moments. It starts off kind of slow, taking good bit of time for character development. In most movies like this, that's a bad thing. However, I liked the characters in this movie.
I'd recommend THE BREED to anyone who likes killer dog movies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2008
OK, first off I would like to say that usually I'm not the biggest Wes Craven fan. I never have thought his PG-13 horror films were worth much of anything and before this film the only good movie I ever thought Wes Craven ever directed/produced that well were the Night Mare On Elm Street films, the one series of movies I was told were scarier then anything else when I was little. But this film was a really good movie, it was well worth the $7.50 I payed for it at Family Video. The monsters in this movie were not only well developed, but also believable and the picture and sound quality of the film was done exceptionally well. And I would also say that it was scarier then most of the Night Mare On Elm Street Films.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
~ Five teenagers take a vacation on a remote island where brothers, Matt and John, have inherited a cabin. Matt's girlfriend Nicki, Sarah and Noah also accompany them. Before they can get settled in, Sara (Michelle Rodriguez) is bitten by a vicious stray dog. The brothers are immediately prompted by memories of a facility for training dogs somewhere on other side of the island. Fearing the worst - rabies - they head for their sea plane, but the dogs have already set it adrift. In small packs they wait in the surrounding hillside, watching, waiting to attack ... the five friends find themselves fighting a battle for survival against these genetically redesigned and intelligent canine killers ~ From the director of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and 'Scream', 'The Breed' is one of the better films produced by Wes Craven. It is a simple slasher-style flick, well written and directed, with a good cast and a nice little twist at the end. There are plenty of tense moments here also. Apparently they used real dogs for this film, not computer generated hounds.

Think Scream~ meets~Cujo~meets~Wilderness.

Overall a pretty scary film.

Matt Lee-Williams
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2007
However I like it alot. Good gore bits, cool dog action, intresting story and at least one character you could care about. Good scares, the dogs were done great and looked rabid, even though this movie isn't about rabid dogs becasue they are genetically altered dogs. But still people dismissing this film as a blah blah rabid dog film obviously haven't watched it all or didn't understand the plot of the movie. Over all a very enjoyable movie, looking forward to a sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
To be honest, I watched THE BREED in order to see Michelle Rodriguez kick some major doggy butt. Well, she mostly plays the victim, along w/ her band of twentysomething friends, consisting of another babe and three GQ-male-model types. Said friends are just trying to spend a drunken weekend on a lonely island, never expecting the canine horror which awaits them. Many super-intelligent dogs attack, causing much mayhem, but only a slight dip in alcohol consumption. Ms. Rodriguez does attempt some acrobatic heroics, just no lightning-fast fists or kicks of fury. I was hoping for her character to be a bit more like her soldier role in RESIDENT EVIL. Alas, she was too well-behaved! The rest of the cast reminded me of any other throw-away group of psycho-fodder from a thousand other movies. As for the plot, it's sort of an update of THE KILLER SHREWS, minus the doggy-shrew costumes. Okay for a late night viewing...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Breed caught my eye at the local video store. It looked like solid, albeit cheesy, horror entertainment. The movie fulfilled my cravings for thrills, in fact, it was even better produced and acted than I expected. The movie is filmed in South Africa, so the setting is beautiful. Completely believable as a remote island getaway. The dogs are introduced slowly, with the first part of the film being mostly character development. And you really do care about these young people. They are childhood friends with very different personalities.

The dogs are seriously scary. Although the DVD cover shows a wolf or half-wolf and a Rottie, no wolves and only one Rottweiler are in the film. Yes, a misleading cover, but it sure grabbed my attention at the store.

Very enjoyable, suspense and gore galore. Highly recommended.
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