Pet Movie Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"
Writer: Jeremy Slater
Director: Carles Torrens
Starring: Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, Jennette McCurdy
Running Time: 1 hr 34 mins
Country/Language: Spain/USA - English
Where It Can Be Seen: VOD (Amazon, VUDU, iTunes)
At what point does saving someone turn to captivity - love to obsession? To me, Pet is a film that explores these questions in a very ambiguous way. One that leaves people who watch it to ponder, with twists and turns from beginning to end as if you're driving down a pitch black darkened country road with no way to see other than the light of your headlights, and you won't know a turn is coming until you get to it. Just when you think you know the characters the film has introduced, the tables have turned and it leaves you feeling as though you've been conned (in the best way possible of course). You never feel cheated. And that is a damn fine line to find balance on when writing or making a film. It is psychological warfare and you've been dropped in the middle of the battlefield. This is one love story that is as warped and twisted it could get, and yet, by the end, at least I anyway, thought to myself: "Aww that's kind of sweet...in a real fucked up way." - This is what you get with director Carles Torrens' Pet. And even though I would know what's coming by it's second viewing, I would still find satisfaction in watching it all unfold in the most intricate of ways, like the undoing of a well done origami.
Dominic Monaghan (Lord of The Rings) plays a very withdrawn, introverted individual named Seth. He is a guard/watchmen at the local animal shelter, to which his duties includes cleaning up, feeding the animals and occasionally having to do the unpleasant task of escorting certain animals to be put down. It's clear he's also a very sensitive person who means well. He lives in a modest apartment, takes the bus to and from work, and doesn't seem to have any friends. Until one day while riding the bus home, he takes notice of a young woman sitting a few seats away named Holly (Ksenia Solo - Black Swan and TV's Orphan Black). He strikes up a half assed attempt at a conversation that is more awkward than suave, however Holly seems a decent enough girl to humor him and go along with it. Only he takes this as an invitation to something more. Thus begin his journey into obsession, one that begins to take up most of his attention from work and ends up affecting his performance at his job. A few "coincidental run-ins" with Holly later and gets to the point of no return, which by the way she at first finds a little weird but maybe he's just being sweet. Until he says the wrong thing, then she is just downright creeped out. And naturally so! By run-in number 2, she's had it with this guy! That is until she get kidnapped by Seth. Don't worry I'm not giving away anything that isn't already in the trailer. I won't divulge anymore info other than the moment she wakes up in a dog cage and is held captive, not only do the characters, but we the audience as well, begin to discover who these characters are. Not only by individually, but to each other. Jennette McCurdy (Best known for her early career on such Disney channel shows as iCarly and Sam & Cat, which co-starred the now mega pop star Ariana Grande), plays Holly's friend/roommate Claire. And what may seem like your run of the mill best friend role is such a vital role in Pet! Jennette plays her plainly at first, which I will excitedly exclaim how damn smart that was, and then like I said, the moment Holly finds herself caged, things completely shift and are revealed! I wish I could be there to watch with those who will see this movie for the first time, just to see the expressions on their faces when the world they get to know is not as it seems! However I cannot. So I will just settle for imagining it. All I can do from here and now is urge everyone who is a fan of the horror and thriller genre to check this movie out! The direction, editing, and writing - So cleverly executed. It was shot beautifully so it makes all the horrible things you'll see conflicting. And I have to give props to the cast for their rock solid performances. They make you care about their characters when maybe you really shouldn't! And that takes talent and skill. Pet is a horror flick that will hold Your attention captive from start to finish and subject you to a love story of psychotic proportions.