Film: The Breed
Director: Nicholas Mastandrea
Writer: Robert Conte and Peter Wortmann
Starring: Michelle Rodriguez, Oliver Hudson and Taryn Manning
This film begins with a couple on a boat, played by Nick Boraine and Lisa-Marie Schneider. They happen upon an island and decide to check it out. Schneider goes deeper onto land and she is attacked by something.
We then shift to a seaplane that is coming in for a landing. The pilot is played by Oliver Hudson. He is a bad boy and he has inherited the island they are going to for the weekend. His brother is along, played by Eric Lively, and he is studying to be a veterinary. This weekend is for him to clear his mind and have some fun. Also with them is Lively’s girlfriend, played by Michelle Rodriguez. We learn later on that she used to date Hudson and that he still kind of holds a grudge about this. Also is Taryn Manning and Hill Harper.
They start to drink and have fun that night. Margaritas are made and beers are flowing. They swim in the water and hang out. They go back up to the house and puppy shows up. Manning falls in love with it immediately. The dog looks like a German Sheppard. They start to wonder where this dog came from. It turns out that there was a compound where they trained seeing-eye dogs, but the story is that an outbreak of rabies hit and all of the dogs had to be put down.
Manning wants the dog to stay with them that night, but it growls at Harper. The dog runs outside and they go after it. We end up finding the dog’s mother who attacks Manning. It bites her calf. Lively wraps it up and warns her that she is going to need rabies shot just to be safe. It is brought up about going back, but Hudson shoots that down. Lively does confirm that she has about a week before anything really bad happens.
Later that night though, she starts to act funny. She goes through moods it seems since being bit. She has had a crush on Hudson and she kisses him, but bites his lip and pushes him away.
The next morning, the men all decide to go hunting after breakfast to see if they can kill some food. While they are out there, they run into a bloody Boraine. He tells them that they need to leave and he is then attacked by a dog. The men flee back to the house where a dog attacks Rodriguez. Hudson fires an arrow, but the dog dodges it and it finds its mark in Rodriguez’ calf.
These dogs are smarter than normal ones. Lively keeps trying to point out that it is not possible, but he is wrong. The dogs bite through the ropes that are keeping the plane tied to the dock and it starts to drift away. They don’t see dogs guarding the dock so they go out to it and Hudson dives into the water. He swims for the plane only to realize that there are two dogs on it. They jump into the water and they chase them back to the house.
They need to find another way off of the island. There is a zip-line from the house to the garage where inside is an old car. It started for Hudson and Lively when they first arrived, but no one has been around it in years and there’s no guarantee that it will again. Rodriguez despite her hurt leg decides to try for it.
Will it start? What will they do with it if does? Is there power on at the compound on the other side of the island? Can they radio for help? Or will the dogs continue to pick them off until there is no one left?
I want to lead off saying that this film did have some potential. It does fall into a lot of horror film clinches though. We have a group of college students, on a weekend vacation, drinking and joking about premarital sex. They are on an island, so they are isolated. We then introduce mutated dogs from a compound that no one realized what they are doing. Now I really like taking the idea of something that most people like in a friendly animal and then making it into a vicious killing machine. For me, it really pulled at my heart strings to see them kill the dogs, because I hate seeing animals be hurt, even if they are killing people. I also liked that they had Lively’s character be a veterinary student, because that gave them someone to be an expert on what they were dealing with. I will say that the acting was decent, but nothing too amazing.
This film does come with its issues though. Clearly the clinches could be considered an issue, but for the most part I’ll let that slide. It makes you wonder how long this compound was closed down and how the dogs could still be alive. They did notice there is no other wildlife on the island, so that was clearly what they were eating, which would also make sense why they are starving. They do explore that Hudson and Lively’s uncle was an animal activist, but there was paperwork in his house that he might have been helping with the experiments. They hint at it, but I think I would have liked confirmation to prove it for me. Dealing with dogs, the death scenes get to be a little bit repetitive, but that is something you have to come to expect from a film where the animal is the killer. They also introduce that being bit by a dog gives them some kind of connection with them, but it isn’t fully explored or explained, which I didn’t like.
Now with that said, this film for me was a run of the mill horror for me. It had the potential to be really good, but they didn’t explore enough of the concepts for me to fully enjoy it. The acting was decent and I liked the dogs they used for the film. They do look menacing and it does build the tension. The problem though is the deaths get to be repetitive and the film seems to just hamper itself with clinches. I feel the idea and concept were good, but they just didn’t do enough to really make this film much better than what the final product is. If you like horror, I would recommend this one, but if you want something that is really good, then avoid this one.
My Rating: 5 out of 10