Dear God, Kenzi’s gone berserk! Yep, coming a long way since her Lost Girl days, Ksenia Solo stars in Pet, a psychological gore fest surrounding a lonely, shy and awkward man (Dominic Monaghan) working at his local dog pound where he crosses paths with a woman, who he becomes obsessed with. After finding more about her, including the ugly truth that gradually gets revealed throughout the later stages of the movie, he kidnaps her and places in a cage underneath the pound as a means of trying to “save” her soul.
The movie starts off having this creepy-stalker vibe to it, with Monaghan’s character becoming obsessed with Ksenia Solo after one chance encounter that came out of nowhere, and here, you can sort of sympathise with him, but you’re mainly just creeped out by him, as he predominantly comes off as a manipulative stalker. In fact, his nerdy reclusiveness and his obsession with Solo’s character to the point where he’s keeping pictures of her and talking to himself is bizarrely (and scarily!) reminiscent of Jamie Foxx’s Electro who obsessed over Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It’s a miracle then that there was no sign of Hans Zimmer’s weird dubstep theme music.
However, the movie then slowly recovers from its limp first act, and its second and third acts, that involve this psychological warfare between Solo and Monaghan, are riveting stuff. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, grabbing your attention and wondering who is going to prevail in this battle of minds between these messed-up individuals. The downside is that it doesn’t get fully developed into anything by the end, and the movie would and could’ve been more interesting by adding in more “events that would transpire. Nevertheless, the concept is strong, and the movie is driven by a solid performance from Dominic Monaghan and an electrifying turn from Ksenia Solo.
Solo made a breakout splash on the scene thanks to TV’s Lost Girl and her scene-stealing turn as the lovable Kenzi, but here, we see a completely different side to her acting range, and it’s certainly twisted and messed up. Solo delivers a performance that balances the perfect mixture of vulnerability and innocence with deranged insanity and eeriness, and in many ways, she’s the central focus of the movie and what helps liven events up when it looks as though things are looking downhill.
Pet is a movie that is what it is, being nothing more than a solid psychological movie with plenty of gross-factor to spice things up for the audience and a terrific performance from Ksenia Solo. Even so, the movie is rather lumpen in the first act, and is never really developed into something that is more than what it was. It’s a film that helps pass 90 minutes of your life perfectly fine, but is nothing special to write home about, neither is it something that turns the horror genre on its head. Yet it definitely turned Kenzi on her head, that’s for sure!
PET / CERT: TBA / DIRECTOR: CARLES TORRENS / SCREENPLAY: JEREMY SLATER / STARRING: KSENIA SOLO, DOMINIC MONAGHAN, JENNETTE MCCURDY / RELEASE DATE: 13TH MARCH