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We all have our kinks and fetishes and what turns us on the most. Dog Lover details a serious (and at times unhealthy) look at a fetish that might go a little too far. 

The film revolves around a middle-aged couple Walter (Paul Hungerford), Sarah (Gaby Santinelli), and their dog Max. Of course, the unhealthy part comes when Sarah and Max grow to be too unconventionally close. It becomes apparent that Walter is jealous of all the attention that their dog is getting from his wife. He is treated, almost, like a second-class citizen in his own home. 

It is later implied that Walter kills Max and leaves Sarah grieving and incredibly upset. It’s only until he starts acting like a dog that his wife takes more of a liking to him. 

The film comes across as something of a strange romance and then turns into a BDSM story for the fetish community. The actors are great, the direction is subtle and swift, but it seems to only apply to a niche audience.

With that being said, it might seem hard for the film to reach a broader audience for the content that it attempts to convey. The short film looks at the dichotomy of a failing relationship that stuck together only because of a canine dynamic, which already seems a little too uncomfortable to watch for the average viewer. 

It, too often, feels like a husband’s nightmare rather than a quirky and dramatic romance. It blurs the lines of horror film and romantic comedy leaving the audience scratching its head as to what category it truly falls under, despite the best intentions from the director. 

Luckily, it manages to get by with its unconventional themes and normalization of kink and fetish. 

Richard Schertzer

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