Good Boy

Good Boy


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

"Tell him he's a good boy," she says, after a long list of other instructions. Not so much casting a shadow as of one, a small black creature. She's not got much experience with dogs, the dog sitter. "Perfect," he says.

So, or at least close to it, is the film. Small space, smaller antagonist. High tension, even some low humour. Lower angles too, the camera behind those ears. Looking out from above that empty brow. Not just the visual, though plenty of wit and skill in that. Patricia Allison brings a physicality to a role that requires it, ennui, caution, violence.

Eros Vlahos has crafted a film that's a dry treat. Meaty and crisp. The terrors of the notionally domesticated run as wild as wolves, but you don't need to drop a hint as heavy as three boxes of Transylvanian soil to suggest that there's something more super- than natural at play. Play indeed, tennis ball throwers and jump scares, an animal actor who is at times quite animated. The spirit of the thing is fun and frightening in equal measures.

This is full of nods to convention, each with smaller notes of subversion. Even the "no animals were harmed" gets a hastily scratched addendum that adds to it. A couple of moments felt like they were referencing Edgar Wright's references rather than the references themselves, but genre is often given to that kind of autophagia amongst its dark appetites. The beer is Duvel and not lager, so a darker doppelganger becomes yeastily apposite, one of any number of bits of chemistry (if not alchemy) that percolates through this brew.

Much as with programme mate Cruise, it's neither known nor necessary to find out how we came to be here. There's mention of substitution, not just the personal but pizza, and the outcomes are differently disappointing to those involved. Is there also a parallel with the bargains one must make with inhuman entities like banks to have a small house with a small garden in a large city? Mortgage has etymological roots in death and lock, we talk of the black dog of depression and those pursued being hounded. The knock at the window, the knock at the door, the sudden light in the kitchen.

Ask not where the kitty cat clock stares. It may gaze back.

Good Boy screened as part of the Fantasia International Film Festival.

Reviewed on: 06 Aug 2022
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Not everyone can be a dog sitter. A young woman learns this the hard way when the tiny Pomeranian she’s hired to watch reveals itself to be a deranged murder junkie.

Director: Eros V

Writer: Eros V

Starring: Patricia Allison

Year: 2022

Runtime: 9 minutes

Country: UK


Fantasia 2022

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