Lanthimos establishes a cool tone early on, and the film’s matter-of-factness about its characters’ perversity recalls the work of Michael Haneke, but Dogtooth is imbued with more humor than your average Haneke film. The superbly drawn script by Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou doesn’t telegraph its intentions — some scenes are disquieting; some are darkly hilarious. Most have an element of both. Whether one finds the film to be blackly comic or persistently horrifying, the film remains a fully realized vision of each.
Kino has released Dogtooth exclusively on DVD, and it’s too bad the film isn’t getting a Blu-ray release, as its exquisite photography would really benefit. Still, this is a strong DVD presentation and the small selection of extras is solid. A 13-minute interview with Lanthimos is presented in English and details the genesis of the project, which he first envisioned as a science fiction film about the future of the family unit. Some of those touches certainly remain. Three deleted scenes are included, best of which is an alternate version of a truly inspired use of Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “Fly Me to the Moon.” The scenes run about five minutes total. The theatrical trailer and 16 film stills round out the extras.