Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (2019) Review
J.-P. Valkeapää and Juhana Lumme
The new horror/thriller Dogs Don’t Wear Pants answers the age old question of why dogs don’t wear pants. If we’re lucky, we’ll also find out what kind of peanut butter your dog likes and what if any substitutes are available in case you run out of his/your favorite kind during quarantine.
Even during a pandemic, I’m looking out for you. And your dog.
I should warn you before you read any further that Dogs Don’t Wear Pants is Finnish. Fortunately, our brothers and sisters from the land of the Fin have provided subtitles in English. They’ll be at the bottom of the screen so you don’t have to take a crash course in Finnish before you watch this movie.
You mean I’ll have to hear a movie in a non-English language AND read words at the bottom of the screen?
Yes. I know you don’t like to read, but it is nice to see movies from other countries once in a while. Not just to impress your barista, but you’re just missing out on a lot of good movies because you’re just f*cking lazy. Parasite won Best Picture and it was well worth the first-world effort to both read and watch and hear another language…at the SAME TIME! You can do it. I’m proud of you.
Tell you what. If you watch 2 foreign movies a decade, then you can watch any of the 27 Fast and Furious movies you want. It doesn’t matter. They’re all the same anyway.
You mean this Dog Pants movie isn’t in ‘Murican?
No. We just established that. It’s in Finnish.
I don’t wanna finish. I just wanna watch my stories. I haven’t gotten a haircut in weeks and now I have to read stuff on the screen.
Maybe this isn’t for you. But I do know who it’s for. It’s for the person reading this text right now. The person who’s been waiting for a movie with both Dogs and Pants in the title.
Dear reader, this review is just for you.
Just make sure afterwards you let me know your dog’s favorite peanut butter. If he/she’s been missing it. Then you have too.
Don’t worry, you’re secret is safe with me.
Synopsis That Doesn't Wear Pants
Dogs Don’t Wear Pants opens in the beautiful Finnish countryside near a lake. A family is spending a wonderful afternoon together having a picnic. This scene is so idyllic that you know not all of them will make it out of this picnic alive.
We meet Juha (Pekka Strang) and his wife (Finnish name I won’t bother to look up because it won’t matter in a couple of sentences). They have a little daughter Elli (same thing).
They couldn’t be happier. Juha and wife decide to go swimming.
Worst picnic ever. Or was it?
It’s years later and Elli (Ilona Huhta) is now in Junior High. It’s her birthday when the movie starts. She’s playing the drums and it looks like she’s good enough to be in a recital next week. Sucks that her mom is still dead.
Juha working as a surgeon. He’s really good at surgeon-ing and so far hasn’t killed anybody. Too bad those magic surgeon hands couldn’t save his wife from drowning. You can tell he still misses his wife but soldiers on for the Elli’s sake. He spends his free time pleasuring himself with pajamas tied around his head (really). Maybe he should close his bedroom door once in a while.
As established, it’s Elli’s birthday today. Like any white girl in her teens, Elli wants to get her tongue pierced. Dad is more than happy to oblige. His little girl is growing up.
Juha and Elli go to the seedier part of town to get the piercing. Elli kicks dad out of the room because dads are lame and he’s cramping her style. Dad is more than happy to oblige.
While wandering around the building, Juha realizes he’s walked into a BDSM parlor adjunct to the piercing place. There’s person, um, attached to a wall. Juha is more than curious. He walks closer.
Before he can make too much progress, Juha is tackled by the dominatrix and forced to leave. He departs but does it reluctantly. There were bruises all over this body after being tackled. He likes those bruises.
The very next day Juha calls the parlor and sets up an appointment.
He comes to the appointment wearing his street clothes because he’s never done this type of thing before.
Dominatrix Mona (Krista Kosonen) makes him take off his pants because…
It’s the title of the movie.
Soon leather, candle wax and plastic bags will be used. If Juha is lucky, so will water sports.
A door has opened that cannot be closed. Juha doesn’t want it closed. Ever.
Juha makes another appointment and spends most of the next workday thinking about the appointment. Maybe being choked with a plastic bag reminds him of drowning, which reminds him of his final moments with his wife. He’s been so depressed he’d do almost anything to be with his dead wife again.
Even follow Mona during her time off. Juha learns that Mona is a physical therapist in her day job. Not much different from her night job except with more riding crops and bottles of water.
Juha is becoming obsessed with Mona. This won’t end well.
Especially with Elli’s recital coming up. Hope Juha doesn’t miss it doing other things.
What works with Dogs Don’t Wear Pants
- Krista Kosonen shines as the Dom with the heart of…everything. There’s a lot more depth to her character than you’d expect and Kosonen shows them all in a very layered performance. Pekka Strang gets the much showier role, but Kosonen’s work resonates long after the movie ends.
- That scene that reminds you of Marathon Man. Eww.
What Doesn’t Work With Dogs Don’t Wear Pants
- Labeled a “horror/thriller”, Dog Pants doesn’t really scare nor does it thrill. Unless you were really titillated with those flaccid 50 Shades of Gray movies, then you’ll wonder why this movie is moving so languidly.
Dogs Don’t Wear Pants isn’t a bad movie, just a severely mislabeled one. You should know that going in or you’ll be expecting frights that simply don’t exist. Dogs is essentially about a mopey guy that misses his wife. If you’re in the proper mood, it’s worth a watch.