Film Review : Dogtooth (2013)

IMDB Score – 7.1
Rotten Tomato Score – 92%

Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Film

Directed By – Giorgos Lanthimos
Starring – Christos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Aggeliki Papoulia, Hristos Passalis, Mary Tsoni, and Anna Kalaitzidou

Three teenagers carry out their lives under the close watch of their parents. They have never been off their property and know nothing of the world.

Holy shit!

This is probably one of the strangest and most disturbing films I’ve ever seen. I mean, I’ve seen some pretty far out horror films and I’m a huge fan of Michael Haneke but this was just bizarre and crudely funny in a way. I’m not quite sure what is wrong with my taste in film to where I liked a film like this so much. The funny thing is, I don’t think I can watch it again. It was such an uncomfortable watch but like a car accident, just damn near impossible to turn away from.

Lanthimos directs a completely unflinching tale of family conditioning at its most nightmarish. I really shouldn’t go into the plot of the film too much because it’s really something you need to experience for yourself but the story revolves around a family of five and the way the parents raise their children. Let me just say that these parents make the Lohans and kiddie pageant people look like saints. It’s not even like they are cruel or abusive…well, okay, I have no idea what they are. All I know is that it’s so uncomfortable to watch that I just know it’s evil.

The film holds nothing back. Just when you think they are going to cut the movie goes from PG-13 to OH GOD NO in seconds. I’ve never really seen something like that. It just makes me believe that Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac is most likely going to make people explode. I can see a little old lady walk into that thing and just come out crying, wishing somebody would turn back time to wear they weren’t allowed to show people kissing on television.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of meaning behind Dogtooth. Obviously conditioning is a main theme and focal point. I mean they didn’t have to show this but they actually had worked dog trainers into the story just to drive that theme home. Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” also popped into my mind a few times as if you watch the film you can plainly see draws cues from the old man. AHHH I WANT TO SAY THINGS BUT I CAN’T.

Just watch the film. By yourself. This isn’t a date movie. Put the kids to bed. Prepare your mind for “WHAT!?” type ideas. Just watch it. It’s fantastic.

4.5/5



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