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REVIEW | GOOD BOY

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie/series/feature being covered here wouldn't exist.


"The central gimmick is suitably creepy and twisted, Good Boy has decent performances and a sudden yet effective plot 180 around the halfway mark."
Good Boy
BY JACK RANSOM AUGUST 29, 2023

Premiering at FrightFest on the 28th August, Good Boy, a feature from Norway, sees Christian (Gard Løkke) - a millionaire heir, meet Sigrid (Katrine Lovise Øpstad Fredriksen) - a young student, on a dating app. They hit it off quickly, but there's only one problem: Christian lives with Frank, a man who dresses up and constantly acts like a dog.


Always intrigued by some of these lower budget upcoming horror outings, especially from overseas. Norway has offered a handful of solid genre flicks (Dead Snow, Trollhunter & last year’s Netflix outing Troll being the few I have seen). Despite boasting a suitably unnerving and creepy premise and a biting tone, this largely comes off as very familiar and underdeveloped due to its short runtime and screenplay shortcomings.

Good Boy

Firstly, I just want to say, I wonder how the folks over at Tinder feel about their app’s inclusion in this film (you’ll see what I mean if you give it a viewing), but let’s just say it’s not all positive. Anyway, at just 76 minutes the film knows exactly how much its premise can carry and it doesn’t overstay its welcome, however this blissful duration is held back by pacing problems. There is just very little here in terms of substance as well, aside from a genuine belter of a twist around the halfway point and sprinklings of standout darkly comedic moments, it falls into very familiar thriller/horror territory and its entire central gimmick does not fully carry the material.


The lower budget and almost mockumentary like camera work, and limited location shooting adds a layer of intimate realism to the proceedings, emphasising and accentuating the rising suspicions and seedier elements. There are some tensely executed moments and an utterly bizarre torture sequence that just keeps on escalating into uncomfortable humiliation territory.

Good Boy

Løkke pretty much nails the American Psycho-esque ‘handsome but underlying creep’ demeanour and his increasingly suspicious nature is well executed. Fredriksen’s bouncy optimism and (let’s be honest, in reality unbelievable) acceptance of Frank is well presented, as well as her growing fear as the situation escalates.


The central gimmick is suitably creepy and twisted, Good Boy has decent performances and a sudden yet effective plot 180 around the halfway mark. However, the runtime and pacing hold it back and it largely descends into something that you have seen many times before.


STAR RATING

Good Boy rating

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