Three young adults are being kept in their house and garden, completely isolated from reality. Their parents work hard to take away any influence that could corrupt them, and in return it corrupts them even harder.
I watched the trailer of this film and thought "holy crap, this looks hilarious!". I wish it was hilarious still, but I don't mind the path it chose. It's a depressing drama with some moments of comedy. It's very realistic, yet it feels very surreal because of the way that the three kids are treated. I find this movie to be very intriguing, even if it's slow, and definitely original. Some people will argue it's ripping off "Castle of Purity", a film I haven't seen, but from what I've understood, "Dogtooth" differs and also goes further into the depravity. Good enough for me, right?
Not having read anything about the film, it took a while for me to understand what the hell was going on. If you don't manage to connect the dots, it comes out as a complete mess. I wasn't sure what to think when they said something along the lines of "can you pass the telephone?" and means the salt. By that time I hadn't understood that these young adults were being kept away from the real world to prevent them from getting corrupted by all the things we have in society. These three teenagers (two daughters and a son) truly becomes the definition of "corrupted" in return. The parents struggle to keep their made up world alive; not allowing movies or TV channels (they do watch home videos, though), tricking them every time a plane flies by that it lands in the garden (by throwing a toy plane for them to catch), changing the definition of words they accidently hear ("cunt" becomes "lamp", "zombie" becomes "yellow flower", "keyboard" becomes "vagina"), and that cats will kill you. The father also brings home a female security guard at his work to have sex with his son. For money, of course. This has been discussed, why the daughters don't get a man to have sex with, but the simple answer would be that men are thought of as being more in need of sex, for that release.
That takes me to the next part that interested me in the movie - the sex. Not the sex that the security guard has with the son, but when the security guard starts giving things to the eldest daughter, and in return she tells her to lick her. The daughter thinks this is the way to do it, so she starts doing this with her sister; giving stuff and then asking her to lick her. But not between her legs like the security guard did, but anywhere on the body. This is just one of many things that show how the things the parents do mess them up completely.
I find it that the movie weave things together really nicely. Most things get explained at some point in the movie. Sure, you will be able find things you feel aren't needed or too realistic, but none of them hurt the film. The things they do focus on are great however, like the plane, the cat and the meaning of different words. The film is slow but doesn't have a problem with the pacing if you ask me. It manages to work because it changes a lot, between being funny, sexual, violent, dramatic, depressing, happy, depraved, you name it. No, it's not shocking, but some scenes are highly effective. This is definitely one of my favorite films I have seen recently. Recommended for people who enjoy themselves a few oddities!