Every year there are a few great thrillers or horror movies that get made, get poorly distributed, and sink beneath the unending tidal wave (or title wave, really) of New Stuff … often Inferior Stuff, but still, the tide never stops.

Such is the case with Pet, a truly disturbing thriller/horror film with some outstanding work by Dominic Monaghan and Ksenia Solo and a twisty-turny screenplay by Jeremy Slater. It stars out predictably enough, with your kind’a standard creepy guy stalking pretty girl, kidnapping her and locking her away for his torment and pleasure … but then it gets really weird. The stalker, it turns out, isn’t all that great at stalking, and there is much, much more to the pretty, ‘innocent’ girl than you imagine.

Monaghan has come a long way from the slightly clueless affability if Lord of the Rings and Lost. And Solo, who was so convincingly charming and wuirky as Kenzi in Lost Girl, shows unexpected depth and danger here. Makes you want to go back and watch the otherwise inconsequential Turn, where she’s been a regular, just to see what else the woman can do. Meanwhile screenwriter Slater, who started with the please-forget-it Fantastic Four, has been one of the driving forces behind the surprisingly good Exorcist series; and in between the depth of FF and the relative heights of possessing little girls, he put together a piece that faithfully follows and then gleefully breaks all the rules of this ugly and effective little subgenre.

Pet is rentable for $3.99 in the SD version on Amazon, here. And you can get a hint of what it’s about from the trailer below. You’ll see competence, skillful acting and directing, and familiarity … right up to the last few shots. So pay attention … and watch it when you can.


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