After losing his beloved dog, Philip (Pierre Dulat) decides to experiment with having a human pet. He misses the unconditional love and loyalty of a pet and feels this is a better alternative than getting another dog. [This film requires the viewer to suspend massive amounts of disbelief for the sake of plot. Prepare yourself.]
Luckily for him, there’s a man who procures women for clients. This man also employs people who train the women to be obedient pets. This film follows the story of two such women.
The first is the woman who will wind up as Philip’s pet, Mary (Andrea Edmondson) she’s in her early twenties and cute. She wears jean overalls and works at a flower stall. Naturally submissive, she happily goes out to dinner with Philip the day they meet, which is also the day her cat dies because her boyfriend punched it. She’s being evicted and the vet won’t release her dear cat’s corpse until she pays that bill, as well.
She’s super broke.
Philip comes along that very day and is suave and dominant and charming and wealthy. He takes her to dinner and gives her a cheque for $10,000, which she accepts, taking him at his word it’s no strings attached. Oh, honey.
She then accepts his other offer to drive up to his house in another city and bury her cat there. Again, she accepts. As you do.
Up they go, she puts her cat to rest and he talks her into (granted, he didn’t have to do much talking) agreeing to be his pet for two days for another $10,000.
I have very little tolerance for media that doesn’t portray proper negotiation techniques. She hadn’t nearly been prepared for the first two days. She did get to read and sign the contract for a longer period of time of her own volition later, though so that was something. Her reasoning for being all right with the first forty-eight hours was, ‘I guess I can put up with anything for two days.’
Uh. Two days is a long time when you’re wearing only a shock collar, girlfriend.
Luckily, this guy genuinely just wants a human pet.
The other woman, whose story we don’t follow nearly as closely, is taken on when her boyfriend can’t pay a loan shark. Said shark asks for the guy’s girlfriend as ‘collateral’ for a month. She says yes and the guy is immediately beaten to a pulp. We later see his girlfriend has been trained to be a good pet and she will be sold to a client in Utah.
Then there’s a turn for the stupid/offensive, which I’ll put behind spoiler tags out of courtesy, but I really don’t recommend this one. It turns out the pets are being procured for people in the human slave trade. Many for their organs to be harvested. But only for minor organs like hearts.
The Pet falls into the category of forced submission along the lines of The Story of O and Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Both of which are referenced in the film. Acknowledging the similarities doesn’t make it all right.
The acting leaves something to be desired and the implausibility of some of the plot points—women accepting some insane requests without question—are only the beginning of the problems with this. In case the tone of this review hasn’t made it clear—I’m not a fan of this one. It’s trying too hard to be profound for one thing.
I get the feeling it’s rather an indie ‘classic’ (though released in 2006) in the sense that people in the BDSM scene need to see it. In that way it reminds me of coming out as lesbian when there were about eight films with gay ladies in them. So you watched those eight films—and they were all just dreadful, by the way—but that was the bond you had with the other lesbians in the world.
The Pet may be the kinky version of Claire of the Moon. Say that title in a room full of lesbians over thirty and everyone groans in mutual agony. It’s a pain we all share—a sort of mutual gripe. Perhaps look at it as something to draw people together. ‘What did you dislike most about The Pet?’ Instant conversation starter at your next munch.
2/5 just for conversation value.