User Reviews (6)

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  • For a low budget film this was far better than ever anticipated. The most was made of the locations and although there were not high tech effects and stunts like some horror movies, there was enough blood and gore to satisfy any blood loving horror freak! It is fair to say it was very well thought out and very well put together, it didn't have an amateur feel like some low budget movies! The acting was very good, the actors gave a really natural performance and it did not feel forced at all. All the actors fitted their roles perfectly. Perhaps I would have liked to have seen a little more of the policeman but that was because I enjoyed his performance so much, other than that I cant find any negative regarding performance. There was enough element of surprise and a great twist at the end. I cannot clarify on that as it would spoil the film. All I can say is it is a great film to watch at night with a bowl of popcorn. It will be different to what you expect, but actually even better! I would recommend this film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It was just another quiet Tuesday when I threw in my screener for The Hounds, a British film about a group of friends who decide to go on a camping trip only to have their week-end turn into a thing of nightmares. I had not heard of the film prior to it being graciously delivered to my mailbox. I did not know of writer/director Maurizio del Piccolo. I had not heard of the actors Maddie Moate, David Drew, Paul Tonkin and John Doughty who play leads Sarah, Jake, Dave and Martin, respectively. And most importantly, I had not heard of the film that Roberto del Piccolo was so anxious for me to screen.

    But after 90-minutes of watching a film that challenged the genre conventions, I was happy that I made their acquaintance and I will surely remember their names going forward.

    The Hounds starts slowly in weaving its clever storyline. We meet Sarah, Jake, Dave and Martin at a local pub and we listen in on trivial conversation that ends with them deciding to go camping on the weekend. Meanwhile, we also get introduced to Mike (Andy Callaghan) a police officer that is investigating a particular case that one can interpret as having something to do with the four friends. As the story focuses more on the camping expedition, we never lose sight of Mike's plot line and I would challenge even the most versed of film screeners to prematurely conclude how the two stories will eventually intersect.

    Sarah, Jake and Dave meantime, have found their spot amongst the densely forested area. After pitching their tents and getting comfortable, they make the grisly discovery of a body covered in the ground. The body appears to have a plastic bag over its face and is clearly fresh in terms of its lack of decomposition. It is after they react to this discovery that things really begin to take us down the rabbit hole.

    The body they found is in fact alive and it attacks Sarah in a way that was both interesting but perplexing at the same time. Jake and Dave quickly spring into action to save young Sarah from bleeding to death, but then the attacker strikes again, this time inflicting pain and dismemberment to Sarah's boyfriend, Jake.

    The attack on Jake left us with even more questions that the assault on Sarah and The Hounds then straps its audience in for a thrill ride that had us trying to piece together a film that had had us thinking a bit of Evil Dead inspiration was at play.

    But we were wrong. Director Maurizio del Piccolo confidently sticks to his own script and keeps building tension while further confusing and complicating the perils of each of the leads. It is only in the film's concluding chapters does the reality emerge and a logical explanation punctures through the thick atmosphere of all the horror.

    There are so many details and plot points handled with precision that it is hard to know where to start in our lauding of the film. The characters are as developed as any in the horror/thriller genre and we spend a good deal of time getting to know our fated leads prior to the unfolding events that will forever shape their lives. Each of the five actors that chew scenery are brilliantly cast and confidently handle the del Piccolo script with veteran effortlessness. And the ending – although not a Sixth Sense type of reveal – was still shocking and inventive enough to have our shake our heads while we put the missing pieces of the story together in our thoroughly jigsaw-shuffled mind.

    All the above made The Hounds one of the best independent films we have received this year and can sit alongside David A. Cross' Respire as a hidden gem worth finding.
  • This is an extremely low budget horror film from the UK. I've actually never seen a movie from the UK this low budget, so I was a little excited to see it. Unfortunately The Hounds fell short of even being slightly interesting. I made it 43 minutes into the movie before I could no longer take it. Have you ever watched a movie where the actors are so annoying that you just don't care anymore? That's exactly how I felt watching The Hounds. I should have known this one would be bad when I pulled up the trailer off youtube and it was just a shot of a forest for a minute and a half. If you want to give this movie ago, please tell me about your experience, especially if you can make it to the end. But for me, I couldn't take it and sadly had to give up and shut it off.

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  • dadatuuexx4 November 2011
    First of all,let me say this.Although this film hails from the U.K.,giallo fans everywhere will LOVE this film,as,to this viewer,it plays in the grand style of Italian mysteries.No spoilers here. This is a tightly written crime thriller,that will involve you,and the actors ,leaving you guessing what the hell is going to happen next.If you are waiting for the next "Saw" rip-off,move on,as the story works without overboard gore,for gore-sake.Don't get me wrong,as there are plenty of wet moments ,injury ,and death,all very well done.I was lucky to be able to screen this film,on Halloweeen,due to an on-line meeting with writer,and director Roberto Del Piccolo. We talk about our love for horror,and sci-fi films,and this movie shows the return of that love.The actors are all great,and the beginning lets us get to know these people,and that is very important,because i have seen films by the hundreds,and by the last reel,i was actually on the edge of my seat(rare for this viewer).The locations are nice,with a lot of great camera work,fluid movement,and shots.As i said before,this is a very tight,well done movie that needs to be seen by fans of all sorts.well played.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The title of this feature is a head fake. There are no hounds chasing kids in the woods. You find out what the title means at the end.

    The film runs with a subplot that does not seem to connect to anything. It lasts for all of the film until the very end when they come together at which point I groaned.

    Four seemingly level headed young adults who like to drink decide to go camping. About half way into the film they find a body, then weird things happen that make you think they are descending into madness aka "Yellow Brick Road." This would have made a good film except they added a subplot.

    In this subplot, bad guys who exchange money for ? are being investigated by Mike, a detective who also likes his drink too much. The only link between the two is when our token eye candy, Sarah (Maddie Moate) has dreams, visions,and hears things the others do not. Clues are kept to a minimum.

    The movie has some tension factors to it, such as when Sarah wanders through the forest by herself. The woods scenes were done great, the subplot was substandard as we find out details of the investigator that simply don't relate to anything. The film doesn't hold your interest until midway when they discover the body...feel free to fast forward to that point.

    This is an interesting horror film that borders on being cerebral and lousy. It will attract a small group of fans. I am not one of them.

    Parental Guide: F-bombs. No sex or nudity. Maddie Moate in bra during foreplay.
  • doug_park200113 March 2013
    4/10
    Woof!
    Generally good acting and filming can't save this low budget exercise in gore-horror from an unfocused, repetitive, and disjointed storyline. There are one or two good "jump" scenes, but most of the film reverberates between tense and harrowing to just plain silly, and, alas, there is much more of the latter quality. The two sets of characters and settings really do intertwine, but their relationship is hard to see or care about. While there is potential for real intrigue and layers of mystery here, THE HOUNDS relies on the usual schlocky blood and gore to get its point across. It's such a forgettable film that I'm having a rough time coming up with the requisite 10 lines of text in order to post my review here.