Canine Image


By Perry Norton | October 6, 2023

A strange short film with an updated version of the tooth fairy who takes his career to scary but logical conclusions, including loitering around his marks at a playground, then breaking into their homes dressed like a low-rent thug when it’s time to collect.

“…an updated version of the tooth fairy who takes his career to scary but logical conclusions…”

The humor here is very uneven, not least because it throws a threatening-looking man into a young boy’s room for laffs. It’s nightmare-adjacent comedy. Regardless, it is impressive how well director Christen R Carter manages the tone. The opening around the playground is scary, artfully suggesting an evil presence lurking as Ben (James Maratos) runs home to meet his mother. Equally, the eventual wisecracking between him and ‘T.F.’ is really well done, with the pair recognising the other as crooks in their way and a giddy comic equilibrium forming.

But yeah, it is pretty weird to watch a guy dressed like a Denis Leary impersonator explaining Mommy is pilled up, and Daddy is away. More than anything, though, as a skit, most of this gets itself well over the finish line with some style. Once the atmosphere clears up a bit, the staging and banter are fresh.

Canine (2023)

Directed and Written: Christen R Carter

Starring: Chris Webster, James Maratos, Julie Cohn , etc.

Movie score: 6/10

Canine Image

"…It’s nightmare adjacent comedy."

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