Dogtooth

Dogtooth ★★★★½

Unsettling. Hilarious. Prodigious. Family drama.

Yorgos Lanthimos presents a very transgressive study of a couple with three near-to-adult teenage children who have been raised without ever leaving the walled compound of the family home. All aspects of their lives, from entertainment to sexual education right down to vocabulary has been carefully curated by the trio's parents. But now cracks in the control are starting to show.

Reading the plot summary you might expect, like I did, that the tone of this film would be dark and oppressive. But for the most part the atmosphere is sunny, if a little off-kilter, and darkly comic. The children are sheltered but not prisoners... except for the fact they are restrained by their own unquestioning acceptance of the house rules.

Fairly childish competition for favor and/or rewards sit alongside much more questionable decisions meant to usher in adulthood. The motivation behind the system isn't ever really outlined completely... but the parental figures are also not portrayed as monsters... at least not explicitly... at least not early on.

Not for the faint of heart, or those looking for a predictable coming of age story.