Movie: Straw Dogs

By admin
11 November 2011

Violent drama.

With James Marsden, Kate Bosworth and James Woods.

Director: Rod Lurie.


Opens 18 November.

Rating: 4/5

What’s it about? 

A scriptwriter who doesn’t believe in violence but writes about it finds himself in a dangerous neighbourhood – with his sexy wife. A bunch of sleazebags who are repairing his barn find her irresistible. Suddenly terrible violence breaks out.

Who will enjoy it?

If the original Sam Peckinpah-directed horror hit from 1971 made you feel ill you’ll probably find this remake as violent and disturbing.

It’s about how a pacifist can turn into a savage brute when his home and wife are threatened. It shows what happens when an ordinary man is pushed too far.

For South Africans living daily in a violent macho environment where masculinity comes with certain unspoken rules, this film is timely and relevant. What happens when someone who just wants to live in peace is suddenly threatened with violence?

A serious warning: this film is inflammatory and brutally violent, and includes a highly disturbing rape scene – so think carefully before you go to see it.

It can make viewers vengeful. It’s definitely not a shoot-’em-up action caper, but rather a deep, intense look at the nature of and motivation for violence. It examines the primitive being in us and shows what we’re capable of when pushed into a corner.

Director Rod Lurie slowly but surely steps up the violence so when the inevitable bloodbath arrives viewers experience it as cathartic.

Explicit violence as a theme in a film has seldom been so well-motivated. But beware – it’s gruesome.

Similar films

Eastern Promises, No Country for Old Men.

Popcorn facts

Sam Peckinpah’s original 1971 film was so violent it was initially banned in many countries including England.

Find Love!