JACQUELINE CASTEL | CANADA | 2023 | 103 | ENGLISH
There are chains on Heather’s bed and locks on her door. And when the moon and her heart swells, the most frightful thing is her feelings. Shot in Timmins, Ontario, this hot-blooded tale of love and lycanthropy imagines what a young woman is capable of once she’s gotten a taste.
Heather (Bobbi Salvör Menuez) funnels her overflowing energies into hockey and bodybuilding, trying to drown out her mother’s concern-fueled benders and her father’s hairy secret, and temper her unquenchable urge to get close to the new girl in town, figure skater Jonny (Amandla Stenberg, The Hate U Give). With a moon almost full and midnight curfew fast approaching, Heather joins Jonny on a trip to an out-of-town casino. After dropping acid, the lights blurring and bending, the perfect storm of poor choices sets her on a lusty course increasingly out of her control. Drenched in eerie 80s synths and framed with anticipatory spareness, My Animal is tense and stylish, a scene lit like Caravaggio’s The Calling of Saint Matthew one moment, splashed in neon the next. Lycanthropy an allegory for youthful rebellion and its myriad consequences.