Pet

Don’t worry, it’s safe. I tested it on myself!

Year Released : 2016

Director : Carles Torrens

Cast : Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, Jenette McCurdy, Nathan Parsons and Da’Vone McDonald

Those who read an article I read some time ago about my Top 20 films (Part One and Part Two for those that haven’t read it (please note it was written some time ago and there would be new entries)) will know that one of my favourite movies is “The Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring” and one of the funner aspects of that movie is the comic relief characters that are Merry and Pippin, the former of which is played very warmly by Dominic Monaghan, who was also fantastic in the TV show “Lost”.

Despite that, since those he hasn’t really featured in a lot, infact just five films in the last five years, but when I heard about “Pet” I knew I had to watch it as it seemed like a genuinely creepy horror movie.

I hope I’;m not wrong about this one.

Plot

Seth (Monaghan) works at an Animal Control centre and one day runs into a girl from his old class called Holly (Solo). After being forced to help put down one of his favourite dogs at work he goes home and stalks Holly on social media. He goes into her work the next day with a plan to ask her out, but she outright refuses, claiming to have a boyfriend, even though Seth knows that they recently split up. The next day he sends her a huge bouquet of flowers, although leaves it anonymously.

Later that night he creepily approaches her in a car park, causing her to go into the bar and claim that he touched her, making the bartender (Parsons) punch him, but he manages to steal her diary during the incident. He starts constructing a cage big enough for a human and once completed he stalks her throughout the night and eventually drugs her. She wakes later that night in the cage.

After a few days she starts hallucinating, all whilst Seth is reveling in the situation and acting as though everything is normal, but maybe the true psychopath is in the cage…..

A decent horror movie?

For a while I’ve been looking for a horror film that I can thoroughly enjoy because of the horror aspect, rather than other parts of it. The horror in this is the situation and the psychological aspect to it all is where the film stands out for me.

I love the slow build nature of the film at first, it would have been easy to get Holly in the cage within the first fifteen minutes and build from there, but it gives you a reason why you should actually be invested in the characters. It isn’t until after the 30 minute mark that she is placed into the cage and this means that the opening has a chance to breathe.

As the film goes on you genuinely start to question who is the prisoner in the situation and for me that is great storytelling. There is far more than meets the eye throughout the whole situation and the twist at around the half way point is something I would never have predicted. I love films that keep me guessing throughout.

Monaghan is as Seth in this role. He’s normally reliable anyway but this is a near spot on performance from him. Seth is a sympathetic villain in a lot of respects as he is clearly just a lonely guy trying to find love, but he takes it far too far. He is genuinely creepy in places, especially as he starts obsessing over her.

Unfortunately this isn’t matched by Ksenia Solo, who could easily be replaced by another actress, she’s very generic. There is nothing particularly standoutish about her at all. The character is fine, especially the aspect where she is probably more psychological damaged than Seth is, but again, her performance isn’t anything out of the average.

Summary

A film that leaves you guessing and isn’t actually as predictable as you’d think, “Pet” is the first truly decent horror film that I’ve reviewed for a while. I know that I have given the approved stamp to some others during the past few weeks, but this is comfortably the best of them.

Dominic Monaghan is fantastic throughout and genuinely creepy at times. Ksenia Solo is largely forgettable and replaceable, but ultimately that doesn’t distract from an otherwise good horror movie.

I would definitely recommend.

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