Thursday, December 29, 2016

PET (2016)

Directed By: Carles Torrens 
Written By: Jeremy Slater 
Cinematography By: Timothy A. Burton 
Editor: Elena Ruiz 

 Cast: Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, Jennette McCurdy, Da’Vone McDonald, Nathan Parsons, John Ross Bowie 

A psychological thriller about a man who bumps into an old crush and subsequently becomes obsessed with her, leading him to hold her captive underneath the animal shelter where he works. But what will the victim have in store for her captor?

I actually read the script of this movie years ago. I remember certain plot points, but couldn't pinpoint exactly what is different. Though I will say the film still kept my interest throughout. Even though the film takes many logical leaps of faith throughout.

This is one of those films it's best to know as little about going into it. So please if you have not seen it go watch it then come back because there are spoilers all over this review

Well, first of all this movie seems to keep trying to out do itself with twists after twist. Though it is the power of the film that keeps the audience invested even as certain twists become more and more ridiculous. Though after awhile it numbs the audience as to what will happen next at least asking us to be shocked by it. As the film stays somewhat predictable and you can see them coming you just wonder when. One of the problems is that there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the two leads behavior it is very vague and we are supposed to just go with it. The film never truly address or shows the depth of his obsession to take those matters that he does. Then it tries to tell us why a little later. It’s a film that wants to keep it secrets but seems to tell them sloppily at times as far as motivation. As it seems more interested in trying to shock us rather than building a believable story and characters. Especially if you are going to present yourself as a psychological thriller.

Once it gets into it's romantic psychobabble about knowing our true selves and devotion. It gets tedious but luckily the film treats that as talk with very little meaning until towards the end. Until then it seems more meant for the characters to lead up to and reveal certain aspects of themselves.

As after all this film seems to be more about control and power. Though it's obvious almost immediately who truly has it and who stays in control of the situation. So we watch our protagonist who we wonder about start off the hunter and then slowly become the prey.

Which really give the movie the aspect be careful what you wish for. As it is obvious he can't handle her. Like a nice guy with a party girl. He might be attracted but is he ready for her lifestyle and personality outside of his fantasies. At least the film tries to downplay more of a certain sexual aspect.

The roommate aspect again seems more of a haunting character. A reminder and a voice in her head. It's a twist you can see coming of you are looking for it. Though it never really adds too much other than to know she has diabolical plans and say it out loud that she is acting and provides a Interesting back story. It also allows the filmmakers to add more to it's bare cast and have another name in the cast list with Jeanette McCarthy of Nickelodeon fame. Playing a more adult role.

The film is following the rule of show and less telling. Though again it just seems like the first domino to fall as the rest fall throughout the film intending to astound us.

As the film only has a certain amount of time I am not asking for an epic, but he seems to fall under her spell a bit too quickly. Though that might be intended as he believes he is strong but to the audience and her. He is transparent and know he can't keep up with her.

As the film seems to make all the right moves and is quite effective and shocking when it needs to be, but it comes down to either trying to hard or being obvious and sloppy in some aspects. As it never truly drives up the suspense. As a lot of times other characters should just know better.

Especially towards the end when the detective seems to check every camera and always seems to be around. He already suspects this guy. So he doesn't notice when he goes to the dungeon? Never follows him? Especially if this building has all these later revealed security protocols? Plus I know it makes for a better ending but as she has never been to this place. How does she sneak out and sneak him out. Especially after looking like she maims him, how does he survive?

Plus her so called stories are they just confessions dressed up to seem more creative? Is it the way she writes about them in detail or description. It makes sense when he finds it and it to be a major plot device, but by the end with her free. It just makes no sense to even bring it up.

One can deal with suspension of disbelief, but if one has too many questions by the end is it really a success or did you really explain enough properly?

In the end he gets what he wants with a twist. He does save her or cure her to a degree. After pretty much sacrificing himself. Now he will always have her attention. This ending can also be kind of an analogy for being the nice guy for a girl you like. You will spend intimate times together not physically. You will be close and you guys might even love each other as you have a deep connection, but she might just keep you in that friend zone as you never make that next step or are stuck in that friend zone. While she will go for a guy allowing for her but keeps trying to make it work. Yet knows you are dependable and can always be the one who will care and be there. Why everyone has their reasons. Here maybe as it is someone she can't have completely and doesn't feel she deserves him.

Both actors are good In their performances with Ksenia Solo proving to be the ultimate modern Femme Fatale. I wish the film supported how strong her performance is, though he look they give her character it was almost like Angelina Jolie's from GIRL INTERRUPTED having grown up. Though with Dominic Monaghan as the lead it is bizarre how he goes from this shy introvert to almost an expert on psychology all of a sudden Maybe i am taking the film too literally.

It's ideology hidden beneath the plot. Essentially this is the fat of the nice guy. You are taken prisoner by your feelings unless you get control of them. You become a pet more than a friend to your crush. Yet the film never quite reaches that emotional complexity that grabs the audience. It's like other films like LOVE OBJECT. That come close, but never quite are successful.

Believe it or. It I actually enjoyed the film. Despite all the things I am saying. It's just the film has potential to be much stronger than it is. Where as how it is, is good as long as you don't think too much about it and just enjoy it as popcorn entertainment. As the film tries to present itself as something deeper and smarter than that. But ends up being just what it doesn't want to be seen as.

It’s like how a colleague described the film. “It seems like the twists were thought out first and then the screenwriter realized now I have to legitimize them and write a story around it”

The film is fine. I guess I just expected more.

Grade: C

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