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The Breed (2 stars)

(15) 87min

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HORROR

‘Give my best to Cujo!’ yells Nikki (Michelle Rodriguez) as she torches the secret research facility where she’s been trapped by a pack of savage hounds. Yes, it’s another mongrel killer-dog movie (see also Man’s Best Friend, Rottweiler and Dogs of Hell), in which lovable pooches metamorphose into man’s worst enemy.

Five partying college kids move into an isolated house on a remote island, where flirty blonde babe Sara (Taryn Manning) gets nipped by a cute puppy. Sara starts acting bitchy, but ‘Expendable Black Guy’ Noah (Hill Harper) continues to drool over her. And this rabies scare is quickly forgotten when John (Oliver Hudson) and his brother Matt (Eric Lively) witness a man being savaged to death by German Shepherds. Taking refuge in the besieged house, the kids eventually escape from the attic; but their efforts to escape from the island are stymied by the dogs’ ability to think, plan and coordinate their attacks.

Director Nick Mastandrea and dog wrangler Sled Reynolds stage the gory canine carnage with skill and enthusiasm, making effective use of actual canines, as opposed to cheesy CGI or clunky animatronics. Meanwhile, writers Martin Peter Wortmann and Bob Conte lumber the humans with some doggerel dialogue. And you won’t need 20:20 vision to spot the predictable, Carrie-style trick ending.

General release from Fri 27 Apr.

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