{SXSW} Pet Mini-Review: A Very Different Kind Of Kidnapping Movie


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On the surface, PET seems like an ordinary psychological thriller, but as the story progresses it twists itself into a knot of an emotional instability that will make your brain bleed.

stars as Seth, a socially awkward man who works at animal shelter. On the way home from work, he sees the beautiful Holly () on the bus. They went to the same high school and it is clear that he had a crush on her — and still does. He approaches her on the bus, but she has no idea who he is. He trips over his words and it is an embarrassing for everyone involved. She politely leaves. He is left in a puddle of his own awkwardness. But after their encounter, he gets a serious case of crazy “I’m-going-to-kidnap-you-and-put-you-in-a-cage” eyes. So that’s exactly what he does.

Pet is the type of movie where you can’t say too much about what happens because you might spoil it. It’s an enjoyable second full-length feature for , and a standout screenplay for , which eclipses his past for
The Lazarus Effect and the unfortunate Fantastic Four reboot (which probably wasn’t all his fault). Once again, Monaghan continues to prove that he can play awkward well, but adds creepy nuance to elevate his obsessive performance. Solo has a long list of credits, but based on the range she brings to the role of Holly, Pet may be the the role where people take more notice.

Movies about kidnapping are terrifying. Movies about stalking are creepy. Pet checks both those boxes and provides a different angle on the genre. It echoes ’90s horror movies and adds a touch of camp and gore to satisfy those needs. There’s twists (some unexpected, others predictable), dynamic characters, and a kidnapping scenario that will screw with your head until the end credits — and you’ll enjoy every minute of it.

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Dino-Ray Ramos watches too much and laughs inappropriately during dramatic films. He’s a fan of comedy, podcasts, and comedy podcasts. He’s a reformed comic book geek and thinks “The Goonies” is the best movie of all time. When he isn’t stuffing his face with a burrito, he’s thinking about his next trip to Disneyland.

Twitter: @dinoray

Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer

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