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Stray Dog

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Mar 21, 2022

Film Reviews
Stray Dog
Directed by:
Jack Sambrook
Written by:
Jack Sambrook
Jack Sambrook, Robin Hodges, Angela Bonning, Jack Elliott, Will Unsworth

A young man is involved in crime while at the same time is trying to make it as a writer.


This short film is the first ten minutes of the feature film Stray Dog and during that time is gives the impression that the narrative is going to be rather intriguing. The story centres on a youngster named Tom (Sambrook) and introduces two aspects of his life. At the beginning, Tom is doing a drug deal that goes wrong. The atmosphere then becomes less dramatic and rather more uplifting when it is revealed that he has ambitions of becoming a writer and he pays a visit to his mother on his birthday. He appears to be living a double life as a criminal and as a wannabe writer.


Approximately the first half feels like a neo-noir, focusing on Tom as he attempts to sell drugs for money during night-time. The other half explores his dreams and personal life and turns the narrative towards themes concerning self-discovery and following one's dreams. The events that take place during the ten minutes would classify this short as a dark, crime drama and the ending will most likely leave the viewer wondering how things are going to turn out.


The acting is strong and Sambrook delivers a dramatic performance as a person who is involved in crime and at the same time, is a talented writer who wants to move on to better things.


Sambrook directs competently and creates well executed long takes. Director of photography James Walker develops beautiful cinematography and the dramatic score by Will Unsworth is a positive addition.


Generally, this short is a good opening for a feature movie. The intriguing plot indicates that things are about to change significantly for the protagonist and the audience will probably be keen to know what is going to follow. The completed feature should be eagerly awaited.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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