Into the Dark has been trying something a little bit different, which slides right into this current era of streaming domination. Presenting itself as a horror anthology series, some of its episodes have broken off into standalone films: most recently, Good Boy. Don’t get too excited, as this project follows the typical Blumhouse formula of “low budget, hit and miss horror.” Although lead actor Judy Greer tries to make the most of it, Good Boy just isn’t as good as it could be.
Since the premise is openly obvious and not at all a spoiler I’ll just run it by you here. Judy Greer plays Maggie, a down on her luck 30s bachelorette who needs a lot more out of life than it’s currently giving her. As a result, she decides to try out an emotional support dog, which ends up being a demonic presence that kills people. It’s not unlike something out of Twilight Zone. You get the whole arc: Maggie is incredulous to the whole situation, and then slowly realizes what’s happening…you get the picture. It’s hardly giving too much away as pretty much every twist and turn you can imagine happens.
With all that in mind this is far from a trashy film. Judy Greer knows how to show quiet pain better than pretty much everyone in the business. While others would overact starring in what is ostensibly a campy horror film involving a devil dog, Greer knows exactly what to do in nearly every scene. She deserves a lot more starring roles and hopefully this is the start of the Greer- aissance.
The main issue, like many horror films, lies with the script. The modern update to the concept is sharp even if similar ideas have been done before, as Greer brings an authenticity to the story that many other narratives lack. But it becomes a problem, as so much time is spent meandering around with nothing interesting to say. There are moments of light levity that help keep things interesting and occasionally allow one to crack a smile, but it’s sometimes at odds with the camp it wants to embrace. I want a little less Blumhouse edge, a little more Little Shop of Horrors. Good Boy thrives in the glow of cuteness and humility outside of its bouts with gore. It’s the Blumhouse modus operandi: don’t go too big and you can’t lose too big. If you have Judy Greer, you can afford to go bigger.