Heavy Petting Image

Heavy Petting

By Alan Ng | September 21, 2021

I’m absolutely blown away by Heavy Petting, writer/director Brendan Prost’s short film on loneliness and isolation. A young woman, Marina (Haley Midgette), is at a loss when her cat winds up missing. Posting posters around the neighborhood, she receives a mysterious call about her cat. Later that night, Jordan (Sam Calleja) arrives on Marina’s doorstep wearing a makeshift cat costume and walking on all fours.

At first, Jordan curls up on Marina’s lap, like her missing cat, and the night ends with a sexual encounter between the two. Then when Marina declares that their encounter was a mistake, the story shifts to Jordan and the extreme measures she’ll take to fill the void of loneliness.

“…arrives on Marina’s doorstep wearing a makeshift cat costume and walking on all fours.”

It’s hard to describe Heavy Petting, but since you asked, I’d call it a profoundly insightful, dark, erotic horror film. It’s good because the story keeps you constantly off-balance, but deep down, it’s an examination of the isolation and heartbreak we feel when making connections with others is not easy. It’s an exploration of the lengths we’ll go to fill that void we feel when love is not found… any kind of love.

Heavy Petting works because it’s all performance-based with very little dialogue and zero exposition. Calleja carries the emotional weight of the tale, and all of Jordan’s feelings, or the lack thereof, are all seen in his face. You might find it to be a weird story (which it is), but you’ll be thinking about Prost’s title long after it’s over.

Heavy Petting (2021)

Directed and Written: Brendan Prost

Starring: Haley Midgette, Sam Calleja, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Heavy Petting Image

"…the story keeps you constantly off-balance..."

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