Pet – USA/Spain, 2016

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‘If you love something, never let it go.’

Pet is a 2016 American-Spanish psychological horror thriller film directed by Carles Torrens (Apartment 143) from a screenplay by Jeremy Slater (Death Note; The Exorcist TV series; The Lazarus Effect). It stars Dominic Monaghan (I Sell the Dead), Ksenia Solo (Black Swan), Jennette McCurdy, and Nathan Parsons (The Roommate; Teeth).

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.co.uk

Seth (Dominic Monaghan) works at an animal shelter, and for years has been secretly in love with a waitress named Holly (Ksenia Solo). He bumps into Holly on the bus and and subsequently becomes obsessed with her.

When he repeatedly fails in his attempts to woo her, he decides to lock her in a cage at the shelter where he works. He soon discovers that Holly is not who she appears to be and it is no longer clear who is the real victim…

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Reviews:

“There is a level of outright cinematic irreverence that carries the film at its peak of insanity, but if you can get on board with the ridiculousness of it all once it takes this turn, it is a majorly fun ride. Admittedly, I would have welcomed even more extreme turns in the plot…” Ari Drew, Dread Central

“The rank, idiotic implausibilities continue to mount, including Seth’s transformation from a wholly recessive personality into a kind of master of psychological manipulations. The movie is also replete with nasty shock effects … and stupendously banal dialogue…” Glenn Kenny, RogerEbert.com

“Monaghan provides interesting variations on what could have been a stock sicko character, while Solo is compelling as the victim who proves more than a match for her captor.” Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

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“The constant power flipping allows for some interesting explorations of both the misogyny and misandry demonstrated by the main characters, and the way they justify their actions through the philosophical lens of love and sacrifice. “Pet” is a modern-day fable of unchecked desire that descends quickly into a bloody, morbid cautionary tale.” Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times

Pet is a purely textual film – peel back its skin and you’ll find blood and sinew, but little to chew on. Any observations about men taking advantage of women (and vice versa) are surface-level. Everything exists to further the plot, all the way to the grim conclusion.” Jacob Hall, /Film.com

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-16-56-03“Slater very much wants both members of the twisted couple to be complicated — but the acting says otherwise. The performances and disappearance of narrative elegance don’t creep up on you as much as they hit you over the head with a cinderblock.” Dan Caffrey, Consequence of Sound

“The pace is patient, the acting solid and the special effects emphasize craft over flash as the characters rejigger our perceptions from one scene to the next. These strengths, though, are undermined by a story that gives Seth an out and seems to suggest that we should forgive him. Not likely.” Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times

“Monaghan manages a balance between creepy and pathetic as a weak antagonist fated to become as much a captive of the situation as his supposed victim, while Solo sells a series of far-fetched twists as an unusual heroine with dark secrets, inner resources and a long-term plan.” Kim Newman, Screen Daily

“The scenes filmed in the basement between Seth, and Holly are so intense and enticing and what compliments this greatly is the dialogue, it’s simply brilliant. The exchanges between the pair intensify with each visit, and with this, we see the balance of power shift back and forth between the hostage and her keeper.” Gary Hindley, UK Horror Scene

 

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Cast and characters:

  • Ksenia Solo … Holly
  • Dominic Monaghan … Seth
  • Jennette McCurdy … Claire
  • Nathan Parsons … Eric
  • Denise Garcia … Britt
  • Janet Song … Mrs. Gundy
  • Alasdair Martin … Businessman
  • Gary J. Tunnicliffe … Homeless Guy

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California

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