Dogtooth, by anyone’s standards, is one weird film. It is a dark, Greek, oddball production that concerns 3 grown up siblings who have all been raised by their parents to completely fear anything to do with the outside world. Strange rules are firmly in place, the most bizarre being that they aren’t allowed to leave their home under any circumstance until their dogtooth, or eye teeth, fall out.
Hence the kids fill in their days by making up strange games and competitions for themselves, such as inhaling Chloroform, pretending to be dead in the swimming pool, and staggering about blindfolded. Mum and Dad, for some inexplicable reason have renamed all everyday items and words. The salt shaker in now a phone, a yellow flower is a zombie, and mum’s vagina is a keyboard.
The kids have also been taught that planes are merely toys that often fall out of the sky, and this is demonstrated by the parents throwing small toy aeroplanes into the yard and tell the idiots to find them. As for cats, they are the singularly most dangerous creatures on gods earth, and must be avoided at all costs.
The strange behaviour of the family, their incestuous relationships and the many crazy rituals make up the majority of the film, until the last few minutes when everything starts unravelling at an alarming rate.
Dogtooth has shades of both the Freddie Francis feature ‘Girly’ and the UK film that revolved around family torture; ‘Mum and Dad’.Yet Dogtooth manages to beats them all as the mother of screwed up family films. It moves pretty slowly to start, and there are parts that make uncomfortable viewing, yet the solid, brooding performances and the somewhat off kilter camera angles make it engrossing viewing.
This film will appeal to those who love screwed up films that have art house aesthetics, and those who think they have a rough deal from their own parents may realise that life could be a whole lot worse.