My Animal | Review by: Benjamin Garrett
Great coming of age stories are often disguised as something else, leaving it up to the viewer to interpret a deeper meaning behind the allegory. Of course, this approach isn’t always successful, as the message can either come across as heavy handed or too obscure. My Animal falls victim to the former, presenting its queer coming of age story as a painfully dull werewolf flick.
Despite treading well worn territory, the film does have a couple strong elements at its disposal. I have to commend Bobbi Salvör Menuez for their performance. I could really sense the anxiety of their character being trapped in a body they don’t fully understand or feel comfortable in. Amanda Stenberg is also quite good, and the two of them share some steamy on screen chemistry.
I couldn’t find exact figures online, but it’s obvious this is a very low budget film. In terms of cinematography, score and sound design, it does an admirable job (though the overuse of red light might make you feel like you’re stuck in a photo lab). However, when it comes to the werewolf and transformation elements, the budgetary constraints hurt. I’ve seen some wonderful creativity in micro-budget films like this before - Some truly inspired ways for the filmmakers to work around not having enough money for fancy special effects. Sadly, that kind of creativity is absent here.
My Animal is a queer coming of age story disguised as a creature feature, but unfortunately not a very inspired one. Two solid performances, a slick synthy score and occasionally stylish cinematography are almost enough to make up for it, but you’ll likely find yourself howling at the moon for a better movie.
Review by: Benjamin Garrett
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