Director - Carles Torrens (ABC's of Death 2.5, Apartment 143)
Starring - Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men's Origins: Wolverine), Jennette McCurdy (iCarly, Robot Chicken), and Ksenia Solo (Orphan Black, Black Swan)
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "A love story"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
I've been reviewing films for Horror Society for over four years now and writing review in one form or another for almost six so I have made many, many contacts over the years. Most of the time I request a film to review. When I request a film for review I look at two things - the first is how much interest I have in the film and the second is whether or not I think anyone would read the review. If I see no interest in either then I skip on the film but if I look forward to it or think people will like it then I jump on it. Not long ago I received a review copy of the 2016 horror film Pet starring Lord of the Rings' Dominic Monaghan. It was cool to see Monaghan in a horror film but I honestly had no interest in the film nor would I think people would read my review. I did not request the film and it just showed up one day. I appreciate whoever sending it over thinking of me but it just didn't look like my kind of film. I threw it on the stack and when the time came to watch it I skipped it. I felt bad for it later and tossed it in where I was very surprised by how awesome it was. I want to thank whoever it sent it my way because I really enjoyed it. My only real criticism for the film is to change the name and artwork to something more interesting.
The film follows the anti-social and withdrawn Seth (Monaghan) who works for an animal shelter. One day while riding the bus he meets a former crush and becomes obsessed with her. He tries to ask her out but his plans continue to fall apart so he begins to stalk her. He puts in motion a plan to abduct her and put her in a cage underneath the shelter. What starts out as a stalking gone wrong quickly turns into a humanitarian mission when he learns she is not the woman he thought she was but can't stop loving her.
When I first received Pet my initial thoughts on the film was that it would be a slow burning horror film with a lot of one sided romance scenes where someone obsesses over someone else. Oddly enough, I was not wrong. However, the film has a lot more to it than that which is something the title and artwork does not give the viewer. The acting in this one is fantastic. Dominic Monaghan plays a very convincing Seth who is socially awkward and very backwards. You think the film is going to take Dominic down a dark path but it doesn't. He is able to play this character very convincingly through the entire film. The real surprise performance that left me in shock was from Ksenia Solo. I'm unfamiliar with her but she showed that she can fucking act. Her performance can almost be considered a dual role where she starts out as a helpless woman before flipping the switch and turning into a psychological maniac. She was absolutely brilliant and I look forward to her future contributions to horror. The story for this one is not what it seams. It does add a simple twist to the now clichéd abduction horror films that we are used to but that twist is very effective and makes it feel like an entirely new film. With that being said, the film has a painfully slow start that effectively does nothing but establish the characters which could have been done in half the time. Finally, if you are looking for gore then you can find a little here. The film has some pretty bloody kills and effects that look fantastic. Nothing too graphic or original but they were unexpected which made them stand out in comparison to other films that tried to pull off the same gags. Overall, Pet was a surprisingly fun horror film. Just when you think the film is going to be a generic torture porn flick it mixes it up and throws something different at you. I really enjoyed it.