PET is a film that was on everyone’s radar going into this Grimmfest 2016; and boy did it deliver.

After debuting at the SxSW Film Festival in March, the film gained a reputation as somewhat of an ‘anti-romantic comedy’.

Spanish director, Carles Torrens, has certainly made a romance film, a remarkably twisted, horrific and surprisingly gory romance film…but a romance film nonetheless.

While the idea of keeping someone captive in a cage under an animal shelter may seem like it would be the main focus of the horror here, the amount of twists and turns within the characters’ development are what unsettles and disturbs viewers the most.

The horror elements at play in this one are intensely psychological.

Seth, a seemingly likeable guy, played by Manchester’s own Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings), begins this film by running into Holly (Ksenia Solo), a girl he recognises from school and immediately falls for her.

This becomes and obsession pretty quickly and he seemingly starts stalking her.

After kidnapping her and locking her up in a cage, fans think they know where the story is heading…but they didn’t know how wrong their prediction would be.

PET tells such an incredible story of these two characters and Monaghan and Solo gave the great performances required to make this work.

Writer Jeremy Slater’s truly compelling story is the standout aspect of this film and why have film if not to tell a good story.

The film also features Jennette McCurdy in a smaller role as Claire, a friend of Holly’s who has an interesting little story of her own.

It is a film that will keep an audience guessing throughout and with each minute that passes, you become more and more disturbed by these characters.

That proves for an incredibly tense and effective little film.

There is also, rather surprisingly, a good deal of violence and blood in PET; not something usually expected from a film like this so fans of gore will certainly enjoy a few scenes in particular.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this film though is the elements of comedy put in.

Describing it as an ‘anti-romantic comedy’ is almost perfect as it is, on the face of it, a love story and it certainly does have its funny moments towards the beginning when Seth and Holly are first interacting…like a typical rom-com should.

The ‘anti’ part becomes obvious after the first 30 minutes…and that’s where the fun begins.

It was certainly one of the better films (top three) shown at Grimmfest 2016 and was preceded by a video intro by Torrens and Monaghan which frankly didn’t quite prepare the audience for what they were about to see.

If you happen to be a lover of twisted psychological tales, I have no doubt you’ll love PET.

It’s films like this, with such a good story, that need a great deal more attention that they end up getting and that studios should be looking to produce more of.

People want to see a good story with good performances that will make you both sympathise and be disgusted by the characters…that’s exactly what this film gives you.

Certification – 18

Run Time – 94mins

By Morgan Robinson

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