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  • Rev Horror

Good Boy

Dir. Viljar Bøe (2022)

A young woman begins dating a millionaire with a very quirky flaw: he lives with a man in a dog suit named Frank.

Holy fucking shit, you guys. There aren't a whole lot of movies that leave me in awe after watching. There are plenty of good movies out there, but there are few that are so shockingly disturbing as to leave you breathless, causing audible "what the fucks" to escape from your lips without any sense of control whatsoever. Director Viljar Bøe's new film Good Boy is one of those films, a movie that will have you on the edge of your seat and questioning just how in the hell these thoughts came from a human being to begin with. It's also a flat-out fucking fantastic movie, one that I had been interested to see since its festival run and am so glad I finally got around to watching.

Sigrid (Katrine Lovise Øpstad Fredriksen) is a student who barely has time for dating, so she decides to turn to a dating app to find someone who is in a similar situation. She comes across handsome millionaire Christian (Gard Løkke), seemingly perfect in every way and exactly what Sigrid was looking for. When things begin to get hot and heavy back at Christian's mansion, she finally discovers the one flaw that has kept Christian single for all of these years: he lives with a man in a dog suit named Frank (Nicolai Narvesen Lied). Despite her immediate revulsion, Sigrid finds herself returning to the alluring Christian and doing her best to live with his strange habit. She begins to question whether this was a good idea (because it obviously isn't), and finds herself unsure of the motives of her strange new man's best friend.

The concept of people dressed like animals is something that people have found scary for ages, though the phobia seems to have had a resurgence in recent years. Everyone from Stanley Kubrick (The Shining) to David Lynch (Rabbits) have tried their hand in the people-with-animal-heads department, and it's unnerving as all hell in all of its iterations. Good Boy starts with that as a premise, that just the sight of someone dressed like an animal in a situation where they shouldn't be is terrifying and offputting, and having to overcome something like that to have a relationship with someone seems practically impossible. Thankfully, the scares don't stop at the surface level, and Good Boy does a phenomenal job of ratcheting up the tension to almost unbearable levels, creeping its audience out to the core while delivering one of the most disturbing finales I've seen in a while.

The actors are great as well, most noticeably Fredriksen as the woman at the center of the story. Her emotional range in this character is outstanding, and she manages to convey to the audience exactly what they should be feeling often with just her facial expressions. Løkke is great as the aloof Christian, appealing and yet so nonchalant about his chosen lifestyle that even his silence becomes threatening. And of course there's Lied, whose turn as Frank must have been physically demanding to say the least: living as a dog, you would think, would be hard on the knees and spine after a while. For a film that desperately begs you to avoid spoilers, I won't say a whole lot more about the actors involved, but suffice to say that they are worth the price of admission from their performances alone.

Bøe, who wrote and directed the film, shows his audience precisely what they need to see in order to both be creeped out and fascinated by everything that appears on-screen. Scandinavian films are always really interesting visually, carrying with them the serious tone of German cinema while maintaining a more playful European flair. Good Boy is no different, with its subdued and yet beautiful scenery helping to underwrite how normal this lifestyle is to all involved. While it would be difficult to imagine yourself in a scenario where you could be ok with this in a romantic relationship, Bøe does a great job of making it seem like maybe, just maybe, it's something that's not as weird as it seems. Ok, no, it's still weird. There really isn't any coming back from living with a dude dressed like a dog. Regardless, this is one that you definitely need to see, a movie that would likely become a modern classic had it been made in America.

Who this movie is for: European horror fans, Disturbing movie lovers, Furries

Bottom line: I had literally no idea what this movie was about beyond a guy dressed like a dog going in, and I definitely recommend checking it out from the same footing. Good Boy is disturbing, terrifying, and a tense thrill ride from start to finish. And if the ending doesn't make you gasp audibly, I'd be shocked. Highly recommend checking this one out, and it's available to rent on Amazon Prime right now.

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