MY ANIMAL (2023) Reviews of queer werewolf tale

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‘Become what you are’
My Animal is a 2023 Canadian romantic drama horror film about Heather, an outcast teenage goalie, who falls for newcomer Jonny, an alluring but tormented figure skater. As their relationship deepens, Heather’s growing desires clash with her darkest secret, forcing her to control the animal within.

Directed by Jacqueline Castel from a screenplay written by Jae Matthews.

The Band With Pictures-Good Movies co-production stars Bobbi Salvör Menuez, Amandla Stenberg, Heidi von Palleske, Stephen McHattie, Cory Lipman, Joe Apollonio, Gabriel Campoverde, Charles F. Halpenny, Harrison W Halpenny, Rizzo Jeppesen, Matt Lishman and Bill MacDonald.

“Though some scenes are random, the visuals stand out and deserve praise. Unfortunately, besides impressive cinematography and decent performances, there isn’t much to rave about regarding My Animal. The love story explored is engrossing, but the feature never fully hits the ground running in deciding what it wants to be.” Loud and Clear

“becomes more about its mood (The abundance of red lighting in just about every locale almost reaches the level of parody) than its two-pronged story, which is an issue unto itself, and characters, who are gradually defined primarily by what happens to them. To be sure, it is quite moody, with the stark look of the chilly backdrop and the central performances conveying so much angst, but it’s obvious there’s a lot more potential in here than just that…” ★★ Mark Reviews Movies

“The whole werewolf thing is a poignant, shared experience by the family, and it can make for warm jokes when the father alludes to it or great pain when the mother raises it with shame. My Animal pulls back on the werewolf focus to give this part some room, and to fashion a tender connection between Jonny and Heather. But once the movie has to get back to the promise of a werewolf, it loses considerable steam…”

” …the tedious slow burn is alienating (especially when it culminates in a disappointing ending). There is a lot of unnecessary filler, especially with a few drug-induced stupor scenes that drone on and on and on. Luckily, Stenberg and Menuez have a fiery chemistry that lends an intensity to the film like no other, and the ominous visuals and sound design combine to set an appropriately creepy and sinister atmospheric tone.” Screen Zealots

“The style is impressive, the performances are superb, and there’s nothing wrong whatsoever with the concept. But this movie shows us the allegory it’s come up with and then it kinda coasts on that, working as a pretty decent but formulaic coming-of-age drama, coming up a little short on the werewolf side of things…” The Wrap

Trailer [4K UHD]:

Filming locations:
Timmins, Ontario, Canada

Technical specs:
1 hour 40 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85 : 1

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