Lets get the definition out-of-the-way, so you’ll understand:
“Having or showing the attitude of a person who
wants to do or get something and will not stop
trying : stubborn and determined”.
In 2016, Richard Rowentree, writer, director, producer and writer Matthew Davies took an award-winning micro-short film (total run time: 4 minutes) and worked some magic. They turned their micro-short into a feature film. “Dogged” swept many horror festivals. After screening it, I can understand how and why the film won so many awards.
Remember 1973’s “The Wicker Man,” starring Edward Woodward (the original “Equalizer” tv series) and Christopher Lee? How about 1960’s “Village of the Damned”? Or perhaps the popular 2001 “Dog Soldiers”, with Sean Pertwee? What do these films have in common with 2016’s “Dogged”? English folk-lore turned into wonderful horror stories. The films also take us through the English and Scottish countryside, with simply beautiful camera work.
When I first found out about the movie, I thought it was another take on the werewolf mythos. Well….no. Told over the course of days, and with intense flashbacks (don’t look away!!!), we are presented with a son (played wonderfully by Sam Saunders) who comes back to the island he grew up on. Little Megan Lancaster was killed falling over a known dangerous cliff. Why come back for the funeral of someone not related to you? Because it’s what you do when you grow up in a small town (for Americans) or an isolated English village. Welcome to:
Toby Wynn-Davies leads the rest of the cast as Father David Jones (all sinister and creepy in one way or another) and us, around the small, secretive community. The “sodden” hippies, the woodsman, Sam’s harsh father and doting Mum, his ex, Rachel (also Father David’s daughter) and lest not forget Daniel Jones. Daniel, played by Nick Stopien, could carry the creepy factor all on his own, is wonderful.
“Dogged” will stick with you. The wonderful camera work, along with a great script and cast brings this horrorlore film together. I love being told a story, and Richard Rowentree tells that story. For Americans who’ve never fully been able appreciate a really good, layered, folklore horror story, it’s like someone telling a ghost story around a campfire. When you get to see this…practical effects in all their glory…take that chance. I’m known for my love of horror movies, for being told a good story, and for supporting indie movies. Just like with Harrison Smith’s “Death House,” and Peter Simeti’s “The Chair,” “Dogged” will haunt you. In the best possible way, of course.