Vampire Owl: This reminds me to show you my new pet.
Vampire Bat: I don’t think that this is that kind of a movie related to the real pets.
Vampire Owl: You mean to say that there is no live-action version of The Secret Life of Pets.
Vampire Bat: Not at all.
Vampire Owl: And there will be nothing The Street Cat Named Bob?
Vampire Bat: Absolutely not.
Vampire Owl: So, we are after the wrong kind of pet here.
Vampire Bat: This is supposed to be a thriller; so you know the kind of pet.
Vampire Owl: The psychological kind.
Vampire Bat: Yes, and you know more psychos than I ever will in this life and the next.
[Gets three cups of masala tea with gobi paratha].
What is the movie about? :: Seth (Dominic Monaghan) works at the local Animal Control Department, and as a shy person doesn’t talk to many people, and has not many friends. Even those who works with him hopes not to get to talk much to him. One day he comes across Holly (Ksenia Solo) who is supposed to be someone he knew a long time ago, but she doesn’t remember him at all. After their meeting in the bus, he becomes more and more obsessed with her, and feels the need to get noticed more. But she doesn’t even remember meeting him for the second time in the bus, as he visits the restaurant that she works in. He tries to seem confident after looking for her interests on her social media profiles, as he asks her for dinner, but that doesn’t come out right, and she clearly shows her lack of interest in him. He is disappointed, but doesn’t give up.
So, what happens next? :: Holly goes on to meet her ex-boyfriend Eric (Nathan Parsons), but Seth continues to follow her, and in the process, gets beaten up by Eric. Despite being bloodied, Seth does manage to steal her diary which has all intimate details of her past. But as he keeps on reading the same, something takes a drastic change. He spends his time setting up a cage in an abandoned side of the animal shelter, and even as it affects his work, make sure that he could create something different and strange at that side to which nobody makes a visit. There seemed to be something in that diary that motivated him so much to finally kidnap her, and get her to that cage. But after kidnapping, he reveals to her that his wish is to save her, and this is all part of his secret plan for the same, much to the surprise of Molly who sees no way to escape from the steel cage.
So, how does the big mystery reveal with its twists? :: Soon, she finds out that Seth knows all her secrets which were written in the diary, and there are no longer secrets between them. There is a big secret that involves her best friend Claire (Jennette McCurdy), and Seth tells her that he loves her, and understands that there is not just one side to Holly. He tells her that it is only him that can help her, and asks for nothing in return as he is her one true love, and not Eric. It is then that the security guard of the animal shelter, Nate (Da’Vone McDonald) grows more and more suspicious of him due to his absence from work, and his roaming into those less explored areas. He makes his own way through those abandoned areas, and is shocked to find the young girl locked up inside cage in her underwear. Now, Holly tries to manipulate him into murdering the guard, and soon the question evolves into who the crazier one is, and also about who the real psychopath is.
The defence of Pet :: There is certainly something different with Pet, as one had already noticed with the posters and the trailer itself. This one emerges and becomes more than just having a girl in captivity by a stalker. There is that madness in this movie that only gets stronger as the movie progresses. Pet had so many opportunities here to become just the usual tale of a “damsel in distress” captured by the man who has been stalking her for long, but surely adds enough in there for the divergence. It is Ksenia Solo who impresses at moments with the way her character approaches everything, and Dominic Monaghan also leaves a good effect on this one, even though more situations could have been added to bring even more of these characters outside rather than leaving too much to be guessed. There is a lot of manipulation going on in this particular flick, and the twist is ready to get to you.
The Claws of flaw :: More was certainly possible with Pet, and surely a better finish was expected, considering how things were made stronger with the progress. You will also feel that there is a little bit too much of repetition with the talks that go on between the two protagonists, and we also see that the cage is also less used as the property, and there are moments when the leading lady does act so less like the character that she is – maybe, it is also part of the character, but that leaves the audience rather confused. The whole manipulation thing could have also used a little more drama rather than keeping the captive without much of emotions – it is something that will go as a negative mark in the performances. The lady also doesn’t get even a real cut on her, and will also get to be out of the cage without any trace of being a captive, and that also adds no positive to the genre. There is also that slowness in the middle, which is not converted to anything interesting.
How it finishes :: Pet‘s divergence is not something that we can question. But its leading lady character might be one for many. There is also a little bit of predictability that comes in, and that is also due to the lady protagonist, and by the end, people are just going to guess that final twist, considering how the so called stalker was proceeding with the things. You are going to wish that this movie was something more, but the variety in treatment that this movie brings will also be catching your attention – there are two sides to this movie, and thanks to its leading performers living up-to the expectations whenever there is the need, we have Pet as a movie that can be watched for not being like the others of its kind. In a movie which has no real hero or heroine, how much you can like the flick is dependent on what you want – a very high rating will be difficult, but liking this movie is not. The best thing about this movie is that it does take off the masks of some people who pretends to be good and nice to others, but being close to be good or in control is not what that particular person is all about, even when in a cage.
Release date: 2nd December 2016
Running time: 94 minutes
Directed by: Carles Torrens
Starring: Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Parsons, Da’Vone McDonald, Denise Garcia, Janet Song, Alasdair Martin, Gary J. Tunnicliffe
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.