‘Your loyal pet…your worst nightmare!’
Night of the Wild is a 2015 American science-fiction horror film about a meteorite that turns dogs against their owners and into killers.
The Vox & Hound Production stars Rob Morrow, Kelly Rutherford (Scream 3; Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge), Tristin Mays (The Vampire Diaries TV series), Mary Risener, Carmen Tonry and Jill Zarin.
Night of the Wild opens with a green meteor crashing down to Earth. It lands near a small farming community. Soon, glowing chunks of the meteorite are appearing everywhere and the town’s dogs start to turn against their owners.
Actually, it’s slightly debatable whether or not it’s just dogs that go crazy. One of the best shots of the movie is of about a hundred cats safely perched up in a tree, as if they’re aware that the dogs are having issues and don’t want anything to do with them. There’s another shot that features several cows mooing in a slightly ominous fashion as if they also can’t wait to take out a few farmers. It’s pretty much a typical Syfy/Asylum scenario — the dogs go on a rampage through town, a lot of people die, and the members of a family (made up of Rob Morrow, Kelly Rutherford, Tristin Mays, and Carmen Tonry) try to get to safety.
And yet, there are a few things that set Night of the Wild apart from other Syfy films.
First off, there’s the look of the film. Director Eric Red and cinematographer Spencer Hutchins were apparently inspired by the look of Dario Argento’s classic Suspiria (1977). And you can certainly tell while watching the film. The colours are vibrant. The green glow of the meteorite is often seen in the background. When the dogs lay siege to a farmhouse, the reddish lighting will remind you of Suspiria‘s scenes of Jessica Harper investigating the hidden passageways of that haunted dance academy.
The other thing that sets apart Night of the Wild is just how violent and gruesome the film eventually becomes. Unlike Syfy-fare such as the Sharknado movies, this is not a lightweight fare. This is definitely not a film that invites you to laugh over all the mayhem. Night of the Wild is a grim and dark movie, one in which you’re never quite sure who is going to survive and who is going to fall victim to the vicious dogs.
Lisa Marie Bowman, MOVIES and MANIA Guest reviewer
“All we have to know is that meteors crashed, and dogs are now going bat sh*t insane. Sadly, those minor pros don’t salvage what is a forgettable, silly, and badly composed horror film. With tighter editing and direction, Night of the Wild may have succeeded as a goofy B grade seventies throwback.” Cinema Craze
“I found myself increasingly bored by yet another scene of dogs (or even some hand puppets standing in for the dogs, or some godawful dog doll things) first attacking faceless (and therefore dramatically pointless) people and then eating them. Turns out this sort of thing somewhat loses its lustre when a film has hit the fifty-minute mark and we’re watching scene number six or seven of that sort…” The Horror!?
“Night of the Wild could have been at least a decent time-waster along the lines of other Syfy films. It could even have been one of their actually good films like Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus or Frankenfish. With somebody with Eric Red’s track record in the director’s chair, it should have been. Instead, it’s sub-par even by these low standards.” Voices from the Balcony
“In addition to having a strong cast and crew, the practical effects were remarkably well done. There were a few scenes where it was more obvious that the cast members weren’t wrestling actual animals, but the majority of the film’s scenes did seem to feature actual dogs and clever camera work.” Wicked Horror
Cast and characters:
Rob Morrow … Dave
Kelly Rutherford … Sara
Tristin Mays … Rosalyn
Mary Risener … Pia
Carmen Tonry … Danielle
Jill Zarin … Liz
Mary Katherine O’Donnell … Alice Wise
B.D. Boudreaux … Bill
Mason Guccione … Casey
Darrell Chumley … Chester (as Darrell ‘DC’ Chumley)
Eric Ashton Spooner … Firefighter Eddie
Christin Rankins … Groomer
Dalton Alfortish … Ray
Dylan Vox … Seth
Andre Bauth … Sandoval
Slidell, Louisiana, USA (the town)
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
20th May 2015 – 11th June 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.78: 1
Audio: Dolby Digital
Full film free to watch online: