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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Review: War Dog

Director: John Powers

Screenplay: John Powers

Year: 2018

A father prepares to receive his daughter, who returns home after being active in the military. No one in the family is prepared to deal with the damage that the war has done to the young woman.

"War Dog" is a suspenseful short film written and directed by John Powers ("Flashout") in which the topic of post-traumatic stress in war veterans is explored. In this short film, we follow Kayla (Katja Gerz), a young military woman who has already experienced the horrors of war at her young age, and these have left their mark on her. We usually hear cases of alcoholism, addictions, violence, or psychological illness among veterans of war, but Powers decides to present it in a somewhat more supernatural way.

In its 32 minute duration, “War Dog” manages to create a compelling story, in part thanks to the performance of its protagonist Katja Gerz, who manages to convey her discomfort at being around people in each scene of the short film. However, either due to the short duration or the script's flaws, many questions remain unanswered. It is also affected by the special effects in the last minutes, which remind us that this short film was made on a tight budget, which is not felt in the rest of the film.

"War Dog" explores the theme of post-traumatic stress in war veterans, with a twist towards creature horror movies. It's an entertaining and compelling short film, but in the final minutes, it leaves many loose ends in its story and makes it all too apparent that it was made on a low budget.

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