Thursday, January 28, 2016

SyFy vs. The Mynd: Night of the Wild (2015)

A meteorite goes down in a rural community in the US, bathing the local dog population in a perfectly serviceable green glow. Quickly, Patches, Mr Stinky and cohorts turn into a bunch of evil man-eating killer dogs. Clearly, nobody was prepared for this, and despite a whole load of guns, the locals are no match for the coming Dogpocalypse (nobody ever bothers to phone for outside help, of course or the dogs chewed through a lot of cables).

When the film isn’t using its time on dog attacks on random people, followed by more dog attacks, and then some more dog attacks, it also spends a bit of quality time with a family scattered around the area – there’s Dave (Rob Morrow) on business with the apple harvest (and dog attacks), step-mother Sara (Kelly Rutherford) protecting a little daughter from the planet Annoying, and the heroine of the piece, Rosalyn (Tristin Mays), on a dog attack rich camping trip with her soon to be dead girlfriends. Rosalyn herself is pretty safe, though, because she’s really good at killing dogs with knives. There’s also some business about family dog Old Shep (seriously) who is supposedly so old he can’t even be hit by evil meteorite rays anymore even though the dog playing him is jumping around like nobody’s business, as well as the usual SyFy Original family stuff.

It’s not much at all of that, though, for director Eric Red clearly prefers the dog attacks to everything else in the film. In theory, I’m all for this sort of nature strikes back movie concentrating on the bloody business; in the practice of Night of the Wild, I found myself increasingly bored by yet another scene of dogs (or even some hand puppets standing in for the dogs, or some godawful dog doll things) first attacking faceless (and therefore dramatically pointless) people and then eating them. Turns out this sort of thing somewhat loses its lustre when a film has hit the fifty minute mark and we’re watching scene number six or seven of that sort, with no hope of any shake-up in the formula. Even decently filmed (and they sure are) dog attacks become tedious after a time, and because the film spends so little time on everything else, it becomes a bit tedious too.

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