INTO THE DARK: GOOD BOY (2020)
Directed by Tyler MacIntyre
Written by Aaron Eisenberg, Will Eisenberg
Starring Judy Greer, McKinley Freeman, Steve Guttenberg, Ellen Wong, Maria Conchita Alonso, V.J. Foster, Elise Neal, Travis Schuldt, Veronica Diaz Carranza, Parisa Fakhri, Tatiana Carr, Aaron Eisenberg, Iman Nazemzadeh, Vincent Washington, Mina Joo, Marina Valle, Dylan Arnold, Jessica Jade Andres, Brenda Lorena Garcia, & Chico as Reuben the Dog!
I’m always tempted to check out a new installment in BlumHouse’s Into the Dark series on Hulu, but most of the time, the series of feature films fail to impress as they are able to wrangle some talented directors, but not a lot of money to make the films they seem to want to make or bog down the stories with social issues and forget to make the film scary. Only a handful of these Into the Dark films are worth watching and even less of those are worth writing about. So I guess that should say something about GOOD BOY, as I feel it is one of the better and more entertaining installments in the series so far.
Judy Greer plays Maggie, a journalist who is edging towards forty and seeing her plans to be a mother dissipate. Maggie is aimlessly single and desperate to find someone to love, but would settle for freezing her eggs in order to someday have a baby. After having a particularly bad day which includes getting demoted at the newspaper from staff to freelance without benefits, Maggie decides that adopting a support dog might help raise her spirits. Enter Reuben, a mid-sized pooch with a cute face and a patient demeanor to help Maggie get through her day to day struggles. But as pressures begin to cascade, Maggie finds out that her new dog has a unique way of taking her stress away—by murdering anyone who gives her stress. Soon the bodies pile up and Maggie is busy disposing of them in order to keep her beloved puppers. As she develops a new relationship with a police officer, Maggie is having trouble keeping her life stress free while covering up the corpses so as not to trigger the ferocious Reuben to attack.
Tyler McIntyre, who showed a wonderfully wicked handling of comedy in TRAGEDY GIRLS and PATCHWORK, delivers a funny script by Aaron and Will Eisenberg, that is equal parts sweet and twisted. While there is a lot of gory happenings going on, one can’t help but laugh at the mayhem Maggie faces with this new pup. Judy Greer really gets to shine. She’s usually amazing in just about everything she is in, but she really puts a lot of heart and likable personality into Maggie. You can’t help but want Greer’s Maggie to succeed, despite the horrible things she ends up doing because it’s all done with good intention. Most of the reason this film works is because Greer is so good here as the identifiable and lovable Maggie.
GOOD BOY also has a great cast of recognizable supporting actors. Shrewd eyes will recognize Ellen Wong from SCOTT PILGRIM, the one and only Maria Conchita Alonso, and Steve mother effin’ Guttenberg in critical roles. Seeing these actors only adds to the lovable charm of GOOD BOY. I had a lot of fun with this one and hopefully more of the folks behind the Into the Dark films take note so we can have some wickedly good films like this one to expect from the series.