Friday, May 12, 2017

Film Review: Pet (2016)

Pet (Review)
United States/Spain/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"The writer's obsession with delivering as many twists as possible leaves the film mangled with holes."

Seth (Dominic Monaghan), a lonely assistant at a pet shelter, kidnaps his high school crush after being rejected by her, but he soon realizes she harbors some sinister secrets of her own...

Pet offers a twist to the captive-captor formula—or, more like a few twists. The plot follows Seth, a lonely but caring assistant at a pet shelter. One day, he bumps into Holly (Ksenia Solo), a high school classmate, on the bus. His feelings for her return and he attempts to ask her out, which leads to failure every single time. So, Seth begins obsessively following her. One thing leads to another, and Seth eventually kidnaps Holly and keeps her in a homemade cage in an abandoned room at the pet shelter. Now, this is where the twists begin to pile on. As revealed in the trailer, Holly is not exactly sane. However, there is a lot more here, but I won't spoil it. Some of the twists are clever, some of them are absurd. Initially, the ending was surprising. However, the more you think about it, the more you realize it just doesn't work.

Pet is a hit-or-miss type of film. Fortunately, it hits more often than it misses. The film is engaging and entertaining, so that's a big plus. The only thing worse than a bad movie is a boring one. There is some great suspense here, there are some very bloody scenes, and the themes are compelling. This is a great time killer. However, Pet isn't perfect. The writer's obsession with delivering as many twists as possible leaves the film mangled with holes. Like I said: there are clever twists, then there are the absurd twists. By absurd, I mean, the roll-your-eyes-and-laugh type of twists. The characters are also hit-or-miss. Sometimes they're deep and interesting, then the film dismisses that and quickly changes them to fit the narrative. That's disappointing, especially for a film like this.

The acting was good, though. Dominic Monaghan is great as the leading man. Although she's a little overdone here and there, Ksenia Solo performed well as the leading lady. Jennette McCurdy was stiff and boring, though. McCurdy isn't horrible, but she just doesn't have the conviction for these type of roles. The film was shot well and the music was good. The music blended very well with the film. The film was written by Jeremy Slater and directed by Carles Torrens. The concept was good, but the writing was all over the place. Torrens' direction fares a bit better, seamlessly connecting scenes and crafting great moments of suspense and dread.

Overall, Pet is a good movie. It offers an interesting twist on the genre. Unfortunately, the plot is hindered by too many twists. If you need to kill 90 minutes, this is a good time killer. If you're looking for something with clever writing and depth, you may have to look elsewhere.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, some sex.

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