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Sweet Kitty Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

Released by Wrong Door Productions

Sweet Kitty Large

Written and directed by Kurt Nangle
2017, 104 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Released on 4th November 2017

Starring:
Emilie Germain as Marley
Bret Grantham as Caleb
Sean McQueen as Marcus
Saif Ali as Pravi

Review:

Online entrepreneurs discover all-new meaning to the phrase ‘dark web’ when they accidentally unleash an Internet demon upon themselves while trying to help out a viciously trolled old lady. As if being a woman online wasn’t difficult enough already, now app creator Marley has to contend with an all-new threat to the Internet, and herself. Makes a change from MRAs and Trumper bots at least.

Sweet Kitty 01 Sweet Kitty 02

In spite of the web as we know it being old news by now, there’s a surprising dearth of Internet-based horror films – and those that we do have (the exceptional The Den aside) haven’t exactly set the world alight (and in the case of Fear Dot Com and the Unfriended films, were downright unwatchable). The net may have taken over almost every aspect of our waking lives, but the horror genre remains one area it has yet to conquer.

Promisingly, Kurt Nangle’s Sweet Kitty is not a found footage horror film and nor is it set on a teenage girl’s laptop screen. Together, Nangle’s main characters make up a more interesting lot than the usual dumb teenagers which tend to populate this sort of thing, with Emilie Germain’s Marley serving as a sympathetic, likeable and reasonably intelligent lead. Its story is promising too – following a gang of web developers as they try to fight an ancient evil in a very modern wireless environment. On paper, it’s Unfriended meets The Ring; Lovecraft for the App Store generation.

Sweet Kitty 03 Sweet Kitty 04

Unfortunately, in reality, it’s something of a boring slog that never lives up to its own premise. While the technobabble and Silicone Valley-esque company politics make a nice change from the usual horror clichés, they don’t really make for compelling viewing either, and many viewers will be put off by the slow build-up and lack of scares. For all its potential, the story never really takes off, and its central threat is too nebulous and meandering to ever make its mark on the film.

Sweet Kitty 05 Sweet Kitty 06

Which is a shame, because Sweet Kitty is sharply shot and well-acted, with infrequent bouts of genuine atmosphere and infrequently unsettling imagery. Even its title evokes a sense of dread that the film itself never lives up to, and the earliest scenes where elderly Judith is tormented by a series of creepy animated cat videos/sounds are among the creepiest in the whole affair.

There’s an ambition and competence to Sweet Kitty a difficult one to dismiss outright. Although it’s a difficult film to connect with or even like, it does try to tell a story that’s a little different from most – and for that it should be commended.

Grades:

Movie: Twoandahalfstars Sweet Kitty Small
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About The Author
Joel Harley 02
Staff Writer
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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