About as cautionary a fable as you can have for both meeting strangers through online dating apps and not following first impressions, writer/director Viljar Bøe’s Norwegian chiller Good Boy (2022) is a dark journey, indeed.
Part-time university student Sigrid (Katrine Lovise Øpstad Fredriksen) and non-working millionaire Christian (Gard Løkke) meet on tinder, and their first date goes well enough that they wind up in bed at his house. Things take a turn for the unexpected when Frank’s dog walks into the bedroom. Frank, as viewers see in the opening minutes of the film, is actually a man (Nicolai Narvesen Lied) in a canine costume participating in “puppy play” role playing.
Naturally, this freaks Sigrid out, but once her roommate tips her off about who Christian is and about his wealth, Sigrid begins to second-guess the red flags she originally felt about the situation. She meets Christian at his home again and sparks fly even as she questions the relationship between the man and his “dog.” She then accepts Christian’s invitation to join him and Frank for a weekend at his remote cabin . . .
What we have in the first half or so of Good Boy are elements of romantic comedy and romantic drama, before Bøe (To Freddy) changes direction into thriller and horror territory. I’m going to leave it at that, because the fresher viewers go into this offbeat offering, the better for them. Suffice it to say that things get twisted and creepy, resulting in a highly unsettling film that delivers jolts until its final frames.
Good Boy, from Blue Finch Film Releasing, had its world premiere screening as part of Beyond Fest, which took place in Los Angeles from September 26–October 10, 2022.
Saban Films will release Good Boy in Theaters, On Digital, and On Demand on September 8th, 2023.