The Breed (2006)

Wes Craven sullies his once-good name just a little bit more by 'presenting' another nonsensical horror movie. A group of obnoxiously well-off teenagers fly out to an island for a weekend of partying, only to find themselves being victimised by a pack of rabid dogs. And, that's it.

There's any number of these films - teenagers in a remote location, being terrorised by something or other. Usually zombies or hillbillies, but other kinds of monsters (or even flesh eating viruses) aren't unheard of. So there's a well established formula for making a film like The Breed, to which it adheres faithfully. Thing is, there are also ways that this kind of film can be made different, enjoyable, or generally just watchable, and The Breed doesn't take advantage of any of those.

The long set up involves one couple getting lost in their boat and ending up on the deserted island, which is at least different from the usual car-breaking-down-in-the-woods set up, and then another group turns up in a plane. That pretty much means no-one's getting out of this by running or hitchhiking, so the sense of danger and isolation should have been ramped up - but it's hard to ramp up anything that doesn't exist at all in the first place.

The next step should be establishing characters that an audience can like, or at least care about the survival of. Sadly,The Breed doesn't bother with this: instead, we get two obnoxious brothers, one of whom is supposed to be the nice one (and he's also, conveniently, a medical student, which comes in handy later), a girl who's dating the younger brother who used to date the older one (awkward!), another random girl who's interested in the older brother, and a random black guy whom no-one seems to like. His only function is to be the stereotypical black guy in a horror movie - shouldn't we have moved past this kind of racial profiling in movies by now? Anyway, the dynamic in the group is baffling, as no-one really seems entirely comfortable being around the others; it's not a group you could reasonably imagine deciding to take a weekend break together. Not that it really matters, since all we need is for a group of clueless idiots to get stranded on the island in order to get picked off, one at a time.

Eventually, the dogs show up, people get bitten, a nonsensical car chase to the edge of a cliff ensues, and there's a big explosion. There's rarely if any tension, though, because - well, it's just all too cackhanded. There's some fun to be had for a while if you root for the dogs rather than the teenagers (actually, they might be twentysomethings, but who cares?) though even that's shortlived. It's just dull.

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