Technically a drama. Some appropriate gore and a heinous premise grants it horror status.
Studio/Country: Magnet (U.S)/Hungary
Category: Animal attack
TRT: 120 minutes
White God is not necessarily a horror movie by definition but it has a premise scary enough to qualify. Think of the way some people treat animals. We are not talking about meat-eaters or hunters who eat what they kill; think about actual abuse and cruelty. Think about dog-fighting rings or those who abandon their pets in cold houses or chained up in a lot and left to die. What if those animals decided they weren’t going to stand for it any longer? Now, think of those animal shelter commercials with Sarah McLachlan and add a Rise of the Planet of the Apes story line.
Lili is a 13 year-old girl sent to live with her estranged father in Budapest. She is accompanied by her mixed-breed dog, Hagen. In this world, the city government and the citizens prefer pure breads and the law requires an additional licensing fee to own “mutts”, dogs that are commonly seen as garbage and trash by the society. Predictably, Lili’s father has no interest in paying extra for a worthless dog and the story takes off from there.
The story is told predominately from Hagen’s point of view and his journey is unpleasant to say the least. The film is violent and tough to watch, especially as an animal lover but the intensity is a reminder that people can and do harm each other and animals for greed or because they simply do not care.
A refreshing lack of unnecessary dialogue keeps the subtitles from being distracting and the top-notch acting by both human and canine actors combined with some good, bloody attacks make this worth watching. The director’s ability to place us in Hagen’s position from the beginning makes it a must-see.
White God is one of those films that makes us glad “it’s only a movie” but it does leave that reminder that the brutal behavior by some of the characters is happening somewhere in the world right now, whether the victim be animal or human.
Production value: 10
FINAL CUT SCORE (44) = 88%