Directed by Carles Torrens
A man imprisons the woman he's still obsessed with after years apart, then finds the tables turned on him.
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★★★★ review by bree1981 on Letterboxd
Frightfest 2016 Film # 4
I've tried to keep this review spoiler free but this is really the kind of movie where it's best going in knowing as little as possible.
A dark psychological thriller with themes of loneliness and obsession, a film that toys with expectations and never goes down the expected route. Dominic Monaghan stars as Seth, socially awkward, he lives alone and spends his days talking to the dogs at the shelter where he works. On the bus journey home one night he spots Holly (Ksenia Solo), a girl he remembers from school, he tries to strike up a conversation with her but she isn't interested and soon smitten Seth becomes obsessed with her, stalking her online, showing up at her place of work and following her home. This all leads to Seth eventually kidnapping Holly but things aren't necessarily what they seem and the film pulls of a fantastic mid-point twist that turns thing's on their head.
This is the kind of film where going in, I was pretty sure I knew what to expect and too be honest I wasn't overly excited about it but between the combination of two fantastic lead performances and writer Jeremy Slater choosing to constantly keep things unpredictable, it elevates the film above what could have been a fairly standard stalker/imprisonment movie. Monaghan is a revelation here, there's something uneasy about Seth, something not quite right but even after some of his reprehensible acts you still feel empathy for him, Solo is also excellent in what should be a real breakout performance.
As I said, this wasn't a film I was fussed about seeing but I came out of the screening raving about it, it has well written characters you can invest in, some real uncomfortable and gory moments and a twisty story that should keep you on the edge of your seat, a real highlight of the festival.
★★★½ review by Dawson Joyce on Letterboxd
A surprisingly solid effort from screenwriter Jeremy Slater of The Lazarus Effect and Fant4stic fame, Pet is a psychological horror thriller that toys with audience expectations and succeeds in turning a seemingly familiar stalker, kidnapping, and imprisonment plot on its head, with the help of two genuinely interesting main characters played perfectly by leads Dominic Monaghan and Ksenia Solo.
★★★½ review by Lee McCoy on Letterboxd
Well this was a nice surprise. The abduction premise is one that has been tried numerous times, but Pet actually turns it on its head and offers some cleverly twisted ideas. Some of those elements are a bit cliche' and ultimately predictable, but I have to applaud Director Carles Torrens and writer Jeremy Slater for at least trying something different with the sub-genre.
Plus high kudos for actors Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings, Lost) and especially Ksenia Solo, who capably handle all the twist and turns that Pet has to offer.
★★★★ review by Jenni on Letterboxd
I probably loved this way more than I should've.
★★★★ review by Liam Hathaway on Letterboxd
What I initially assumed would be a nuts and bolts exercise in psychopathy and gruelling captivity with a bit of Stockholm syndrome thrown in quickly became an excellent subversion of audience expectations while also subtly examining the dangers of social media. The acting and dialogue sometimes feels a little off and certain twisted directions Pet takes will certainly not work for everyone, but it's undeniable that the film leaves plenty to be discussed afterwards.
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