Let’s just get this out of the way right now. When Animals Dream is nothing like Ginger Snaps and I say that with a heart full of love. From director Jonas Alexander Arby comes the tale of Marie. A sixteen year old who lives on a small island with her father as they both help take care of her ill mother, Marie is beginning to experience physical changes and the island is experiencing suspicious deaths.
The film feels like a dream and this only makes the love story between Marie and Daniel that much more compelling and lovely. The dialogue is sparse and that works to the story’s advantage and overall aura simply because so much can be said with a look or a gesture, especially when your physical self is becoming more and more animalistic with each passing day. The way they choose to show Marie’s transformation is simple and brilliant: a little bit menacing, a little bit sexy and a little bit sad. A huge fan of “less is more”, I found When Animals Dream to be a great example that effective storytelling is all you really need and this can be executed in so many ways. Arby’s choice was very visual and, yet, he lost nothing in the translation. To be presented with a thought provoking coming of age tale, a deliciously sweet love story and a strong female lead was just a wonderful, wonderful surprise.