Good Boy is a 2022 Norwegian horror thriller, written and directed by Viljar Bøe. This isn’t the first time behind the camera for Viljar, having written and directed the mystery thriller Til Freddy (2020) and the 2022 thriller Theodor.

Christian seems to live a life of luxury, whilst residing in a beautiful house and eating exquisite food without having any job to speak of. However, behind his good looks and charming veneer, lies something that some may label as a little peculiar in taste. Although he has no family that shares his home with him, he does have the next best thing in Man’s best friend – an adult male in a fur suit called Frank who engages in pup play fetishism almost exclusively. After bringing a date back to his house, her unintended introduction to Frank understandably has her frightened. Yet, as she gets used to her new partner’s little playmate, she soon learns that Christians’ relationship with his doggo friend has a much darker dynamic to it.


Good Boy 2022

Full of subversive commentary, Good Boy takes an atypical approach to its aspect of storytelling. Whilst all necessary plot points are relayed to the audience, the film employs an air of hearsay to solidify these details—often relayed as gossip rather than fact. This backseat approach to the plot certainly allows for personal conjecture to cloud the audience’s judgment throughout its first half. This permits the shock of the film’s unexpected twist to gain its full, pitch-black effect, which, the film attains perfectly.

Additionally, the small cast gives an excellent performance throughout, driving the narrative forward through their diligent expression of character development. With the main stars, Gard Løkke, Katrine Lovise Øpstad Fredriksen, and Nicolai Narvensen Lied, portraying Christian, Sigrid, and Frank, respectively; the trio are hardly two-dimensional characters in any respect. Though their evolution is rather gradual, this progression maintains a humanistic level of growth as characters and maintains Good Boy’s pacing exceedingly well.


Good Boy 2022

Furthermore, the cinematography and sound design have a distinct, sterile aesthetic to them. The camera work is both focused and clean, featuring close-up shots of characters primarily. There is an unstable, handycam effect that seems to persist throughout Good Boy’s run time, however, this effect is minor and hardly causes any distraction. Likewise, the sound design feels surgical in its implementation, or lack thereof, delivering a similar design to the story. As the majority of the film has no score attached, this element empowers the audience’s predisposition to a scene’s tone. Allowing personal opinion to craft the atmosphere and ambiance of a sequence unhindered, vastly improving the twist’s remarkable delivery.

Disturbing yet fascinating, Good Boy’s hands-off approach to the story allows the audience’s own susceptibility to skew their judgment. Undoubtedly smashing their assumptions to pieces with its sudden mid-way twist, and, ultimately, delivering an ending that is equal parts bleak, and horrifying yet captivating at the same time. With its amazing performances, slick cinematography, and minimalistic sound design, this contorted horror thriller will certainly leave a lasting impression on its audience long after the credits have rolled.


We Watched Good Boy (2022) at FrightFest 2023

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