Good Boy (2022)
The unsettling and mind-bending horror of Good Boy (2022), a film that starts off comedic but gradually evolves into a disturbing nightmare. Follow Sigrid as she navigates a relationship with Christian, who lives with a man who believes he is a dog. Experience the psychological terror and unexpected twists of this gripping storyline. Directed by Viljar Bøe, Good Boy leaves you questioning reality and contemplating its haunting ending.
Written and directed by Viljar Bøe
Christian – a millionaire heir, meets Sigrid – 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. (IMDB)
Good Boy slips effortlessly into that category of “what did I just watch?” films, but in a subtle way, slowly twisting from what looks slightly comical from the stills to full-blown, disturbing horror that seeps under your skin long after the credits roll. It may be relatively short, but Good Boy makes the most of its lean 76-minute run time.
Sigrid (Katrine Lovise Øpstad Fredriksen) is on the lookout for love and meets Christian (Gard Løkke) a seemingly shy young man with whom she hits it off quite quickly. However, Christian has a little secret; he shares his home with Frank, a man who believes he is a dog, dressing and acting like one 24 hours a day. At first Sigrid is shocked and a little uneasy, makes her excuses and leaves. However, after chatting with her roommate, and finding out who her new friend is, she seems to have a change of heart and, for some reason, agrees to a second date with multimillionaire Christian…
The relationship blooms quickly and Sigrid soon finds herself talked into a trip out to the country with Frank in tow. However, what was meant to be a romantic weekend turns out to be anything but as Christian begins to behave weirdly towards Sigrid and the truth about Frank is slowly revealed. There is more to Frank and Christian’s relationship than first meets the eye and what originally comes across as a bit of a weird, but supportive, arrangement soon turns sour, and Sigrid is plunged into a nightmare.
Good Boy is not an action-packed movie, more of a slow burner, taking its time to lull you into a false sense of security in its almost comedic set-up. But there are layers here that don’t quite become apparent until the very end and then you can’t help but scratch through them.
And I was not expecting the ending we got. Well, I was in the right ballpark, but I didn’t see it all coming, and that is the beauty of Good Boy. You feel that you know where things are heading, but there is a final stinger to drive home just how disturbing all this really is. There is no real explanation for the motivations behind the ending, just a few final images that make everything start to come clear. While you don’t get fed all the answers you might want, just a few moments at the end of the film are enough to really drive home the horror of what happened that weekend.
The film is well shot with just a few characters, but Good Boy does so much with its run-time, direction, and actors. Bøe has delivered a film that is shot in a very natural style, with an almost documentary feel that makes it a little more intimate to ensure the weirdness and pay off. The acting is good, and the story definitely keeps your attention for the duration of its bizarre plot – you really do want to know what is going on with Frank. It’s not a violent or gory film, the horror here is psychological, and it creeps up on you. Good Boy is one of those films that builds itself up like a campfire story until the storyteller shouts BOO! at the end to make you all jump. Much of the film feels like the set-up for that final payoff, but it does it well enough to not feel cheesy or cheap in its delivery. The ending won’t make you jump, but it might make you think twice before settling down in your sleeping bag by the fire. I think viewers at Frightfest (I must go one year) will enjoy seeing this with an audience, and discussing it over a stiff drink afterwards!
If I had to be really picky, there are a couple of minor plot holes, nothing that would ruin the film and I won’t go into detail as I don’t want to risk spoiling anything, but they did make me question some character choices on one or two occasions.
Good Boy is weird, disconcerting and gets under your skin by delivering an ending with far-reaching connotations that will stick with you long after the credits have finished. An original curiosity well worth taking yourself on walkies to watch!
Blue Finch Film Releasing presents Good Boy on digital platforms 11 September