Pet is a Spanish-American collaboration starring the second-string blond Hobbit himself, Dominic Monaghan. The psychological horror premiered in March 2016 at SXSW and saw a limited domestic release in December of that year. The only feedback I’d gotten before delving into this film was a quick entertainment rundown mentioning how the movie had pulled in less than $100 in the US its opening weekend. Upon further research it’s not surprising it pulled in about $10,000 in total, and boasts a 50% on the Tomato Meter on Rotten Tomatoes and 5.2/10 on IMDB.
I’d only seen a single trailer before checking out this film. It painted Monaghan’s character, Seth, as an obsessed (perhaps serial) kidnapper who preyed on young, attractive women. The reality was much more interesting. Pet’s plot centers around two people with very skewed views of the world. And unconventional ways of righting wrongs and cleaning up messes.
While I think the poor reception was somewhat warranted, the abysmal domestic box office return was baffling. I don’t know if a raw distribution deal killed this film or if some other underlying systemic failure doomed this movie. But it’s a far cry better than many other Halloween-time and January release dumps. I’ve seen plenty of abominations who’ve at least made their money back.
If you’re along for the somewhat slow ride and willing to suspend some disbelief (and why would you watch modern horror movies if you weren’t) I’d recommend seeing Pet at least once. I don’t think it got a fair shake, and at the very least it surprised me. Most movies can’t say that.