CULT FACTION

For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Dogged (2017)

Dogged started life as an award winning short film in 2015 that was shot in a “single, tortuous, 18 hour day for a budget of just £200.” The film went on to win critical acclaim – finishing fifth overall on the BBC Three show “The Fear” – a televised competition designed to unearth the most promising new horror directors, as judged by Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project). Official selections followed for a number of festivals over the following 12 months, culminating in winning the award for “Best Micro Short” at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival in November 2016.

This short film, through crowdfunding then became a full length feature that has left director Richard Rowntree firmly established on the British horror scene. Rowntree is no stranger to the film industry, having worked on some major blockbuster movies including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and hit television shows like Doctor Who, Peaky Blinders, and the upcoming Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams but the question remained as to how would the Slough born director handle his first full length movie?

The film opens in a slow Hammer Horror like fashion with slow introductory scenes that at first make you feel that this may be a long watch but these scenes are broken up by stark flashing images that become meaningful later. Thus, this initial slow pace serves as an extreme juxtaposition of what will happen later.

In this introduction we meet Sam (played by Sam Saunders) who is returning home to the tidal island where he grew up to attend a funeral. Think Woman in Black and you will get an idea of the tidal island, only it seems even weirder set in a modern setting. Sam is not at ease with returning home with little seeming to change from when he left. Soon though a chain of events unlock a Stepfordian world that same never knew existed; a world he now needs to survive in.

Dogged was fully in danger of falling into a cliché catacomb but instead trod carefully around the edges and whilst it does wear its influences on its sleeve (The Wicker Man) it delivers something that becomes more shocking as its pace increases. This is helped greatly by the many clever layers to the story (check out the Bible reading at the funeral) that on second viewing make you appreciate the movie that little bit more.

Whilst the acting cast delivered in general throughout the movie the big star for me was the movie’s soundtrack which managed to punctuate every key moment and mood and help create an ambience that kept you locked into the movie as a viewer. It manages to haunt in the background of even the most chatty scenes in a way that would make David Lynch proud.

Verdict: 8/10. What started of as a short film has grown into a movie that takes risks and delivers. Especially impressive is the fact that this is Rowntree’s first full length feature. Where others often spin off on tangents he has stayed true to the vision of the story he originally set out in the short film. As I watch it now I wonder what it would be like if Rowntree could flesh out this weird world he has created even more perhaps as a television series?

Related Posts
Zu – Warriors of the Magic Mountain (1981)

Yuen Biao plays a champion fencer who disposes of his rivals with startling ability. Biao is also a student, writing an essay on the Ming Dynasty, which is received favorably by his tutor, Read more

Zoolander 2 trailer released

Zoolander is back but a lot has happened since 2001! Rest assured the Ben Stiller comedy features familiar faces and a few new ones with plenty to get you excited. Read more

Zontar, the Thing from Venus (1966)

At a dinner party with their wives, NASA scientist Dr. Keith Ritchie (Tony Huston) reveals to his colleague Dr. Curt Taylor (John Agar) that he has secretly been in communication Read more

Zone Troopers (1985)

In Italy during World War II, an American military patrol discovers a spaceship that has crash-landed in the woods, along with its alien crew. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm9fnNfLg8M A nearby Nazi unit also Read more

Zone 414 trailer released

Zone 414 is an upcoming American science fiction thriller film written by Bryan Edward Hill and directed by Andrew Baird. The film stars Guy Pearce, Matilda Lutz, Jonathan Aris, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Olwen Fouéré, Colin Salmon, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Read more

Zomboat! Episode 6

It is the final episode of Season 1, and as expected following the somewhat calmness of last week's episode this week is about to go off the scale. Our crew Read more

Zomboat! Episode 5

Episode 5 of Zomboat! is the penultimate episode of Season 1 and it gave the audience a chance to catch their breath before the grand finale. Instead of the fast Read more

Zomboat! Episode 4

In Zomboat! Episode 4 we discover that even a shopping trip can be hazardous to your health in post-apocalyptic Birmingham. With the boat moored and apparently safe Amar (Ryan McKen) Read more

Zomboat! Episode 3

After our diversion last week our Zomboat crew begin travelling in the right direction and end up back where they first got on the boat. This also happens to be Read more

Zomboat! Episode 2

Zomboat! burst onto our screens last week and while we loved it we noted that it felt "a bit rushed with lots crammed in." As Episode 2 washed over us Read more

Zomboat! Episode 1

Debuting on ITV2 in the UK, Zomboat! is filmed in the 2.35:1 widescreen ratio of most zombie movies and answers the life long question of what would happen if you Read more

Zomblogalypse trailer released

Homemade horror-comedy feature Zomblogalypse received its UK premiere at Dead Northern Film Festival - in association with Fangoria and Shudder - at City Screen York on 26th September 2021. The Read more

Zombies-Outlive The Undead trailer released

Tony Todd is back in an all new zombie movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBlWz-n-nec When the world is in shambles, plagued by a zombie outbreak, only the strong will survive, but just how Read more

Zombieland: Doubletap “Keeps Getting Better” featurette released

Columbus, Tallahasse, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SL6NTQhEqn4 Read more

Zombieland 2: Double Tap trailer released

In Zombieland 2: Double Tap, Columbus, Tallahasse, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of Read more

Zombiegeddon (2003)

Directed by Chris Watson and distributed by Troma Entertainment, Zombiegeddon begins as Satan creates a human-like race called zombies. When the zombies begin taking over the world, dirty cops Jeff Read more

Zombie With A Shotgun trailer released

Zombie With A Shotgun is the feature adaptation of the popular web series of the same name. Aaron and Rachel are on the run due to the fact that Aaron is Read more

Zombie Tidal Wave (2019)

Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, Zombie Tidal Wave aims to pick up where the Sharknado franchise left off. More serious in tone, the film plays more like the original Sharknado Read more

Zombie Tidal Wave “Zombie Tsunami” trailer released

It's a Zombie Tsunami! From the same twisted minds behind Sharknado comes an all-new disaster: Zombie Tidal Wave starring Ian Ziering. Watch the world premiere Saturday August 17th at 9/8c Read more

Zombie Fighter official trailer released

11 years ago, a zombie virus killed many people, while others had their family members turned into zombies. Society is still angry, and so outside the city, a zombie fight Read more

Founded Cult Faction in 2014. Some would describe him as a teacher, writer, dream weaver, and visionary... some would not...

%d bloggers like this: