‘Dogwalker’ is a Dark, Bittersweet Comedic Gem

By  · Published on March 8th, 2017

Short of the Day

A day in the life of death.

Bad days are like snowballs rolling downhill: the longer they go, the bigger they get, compounding with every revolution until the inevitable collision at the end where everything falls apart in a violent disintegration. Dogwalker, a new short film from writer-director Kim Sherman, depicts one such of those days in the life of a young woman in Chicago with the titular occupation who starts her day by discovering one of her favorite clients has died. And that’s just the start. To say much more would be to spoil the many surprises of Dogwalker, but suffice it to say, wherever you think this story is going it isn’t going and where it does you definitely won’t be expecting.

Dogwalker is anchored by the aching vulnerability and awkward charm of Hazel, played by Sarah Hagan who you might remember but won’t recognize as Millie Kentner from the beloved television series Freaks & Geeks, and here she’s pitch perfect as a woman fluctuating between the myriad emotions her doggie-death odyssey conjures.

Darkly heartwarming and hilariously brutal in parts – emotionally speaking – Dogwalker is a twisted treat that alternates between subtle and in-your-face dramatics that Sherman has balanced perfectly. Primarily known as a producer on such flicks as You’re Next and A Horrible Place to Die (both of which, coincidentally, are in my personal Blu-Ray collection), Dogwalker is Sherman’s third effort as a writer-director, and hopefully a gateway to a feature, because I for one found Dogwalker and the character of Hazel both so rich with potential I wanted to see much more of them. I’m willing to bet in 11 minutes and some change you’re going to agree. Enjoy.

Dogwalker was an official selection of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and made its premiere online with Vimeo.

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