Neil Marshall is probably best known these days for directing episodes of Game of Thrones, Black Sails, Constantine, and, most recently, Westworld. He's also been announced as the director for a rebooted Lost In Space series, set to appear on Netflix in the next couple of years. But did you know that he's also smashed out a few movies too? Oh yes!
From horror-comedy to Roman history to post-apocalyptic landscapes featuring car chases set to Frankie Goes To Hollywood, what Marshall lacks in output he more than makes up for with — quite frankly — ridiculous spectacle.
With so much on his plate, it's understandable that feature films have taken something of a backseat for Marshall in recent years. A remake of Norwegian indie horror flick Troll Hunter and a Dracula tale, The Last Voyage of the Demeter, have been attached to Marshall for some time, but both are yet to materialize.
For now though, here's a rundown of the four movies Marshall currently has to his name — needless to say, I highly recommend them all!
4. Dog Soldiers (2002)
While on a routine training mission in the Scottish Highlands, a team of soldiers come across a family of werewolves. Things do not go well.
The result is equal parts hilarious and terrifying. From Sarge's guts to Terry and his cups of tea to the not-pork stew to every golden word that comes out of Spoon's mouth, Dog Soldiers is an absolute joy to watch.
Dismiss it at your peril — this is one of my all time favorite movies. My boyfriend fell asleep the first time he watched it and I nearly ended the relationship then and there.
3. The Descent (2005)
A group of female spelunking enthusiasts head out to explore a new cave system. However, it soon turns out that they aren't the first visitors to the caves. A group of perfectly adapted predators already call the place home, and they aren't exactly welcoming.
The Descent became an instant horror classic upon its release, so you probably won't be surprised to hear that it's terrifying. Even when things are (however briefly) going right for the characters, the fact that they're climbing through caves and tiny tunnels doesn't make for comfortable viewing, especially if you're in any way claustrophobic.
Not recommended for solo viewing.
2. Doomsday (2008)
This movie is so much fun, I barely even know where to begin.
Continuing the tradition of the dangers of Scotland first espoused by Dog Soldiers (I swear he does it just to annoy a Scottish friend or something), Doomsday is like Mad Max getting into a serious relationship with 28 Days Later while sleeping with Escape From New York on the side. Except with more Scottish accents.
In 2008 a deadly virus broke out in Scotland. To contain its spread, a new version of Hadrian's Wall was built, leaving the Scots to their fate. Fast forward 25 years and Major Eden Sinclair, the last person to escape across the border before the country was sealed off, is gearing up to lead the first expedition back. The plague has resurfaced, this time in London, and Sinclair is sent to locate survivors north of the wall, in hopes of finding a cure.
Also, there are cannibals. Glaswegian cannibals.
God, I love this movie.
1. Centurion (2010)
Based on the legend of the lost Ninth Legion, who vanished without a trace north of Hadrian's Wall, Centurion imagines their demise at the hands of a guerrilla attack from the native Picts. A small group of soldiers survives, and set out to rescue their general, locate the famous Eagle of the Ninth standard, and get back to the safety of the Roman frontier.
Centurion is a pretty massive departure from type for Marshall, and not just because it's the only film that doesn't start with a "D." Marshall takes a bit of a step away from his usual casting of relatively unknown actors, bringing in some big guns in the form of Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, and Dominic West. The fantastical element at play in previous movies is also absent — Centurion is historical fiction, so you won't find any werewolves or subterranean monsters here!
That being said, it's still every bit as bloody and brutal as you can expect from a Neil Marshall flick. And, of course, the villains are Scottish (well, from beyond Hadrian's Wall at least)!
You may have seen all of Marshall's films, but I bet you haven't seen all of the films on this massive list of must-watch horrors. What's your number?
Is there another director out there that you think deserves a few more fans? Shout it from the rooftops! Or leave a comment. Your choice.