Kynodontas (2009) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could very well be on another planet. The trio spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary. Any word that comes from beyond their family abode is instantly assigned a new meaning. Hence 'the sea' refers to a large armchair and 'zombies' are little yellow flowers. Having invented a brother whom they claim to have ostracized for his disobedience, the über-controlling parents terrorize their offspring into submission. The father is the only family member who can leave the manicured lawns of their self-inflicted exile, earning their keep by managing a nearby factory, while the only outsider allowed on the premises is his colleague Christina, who is paid to relieve the son of his male urges. Tired of these dutiful acts of carnality, Christina disturbs the domestic balance.

  • Secluded from the rest of the world, confined to their affluent home and the high-walled front yard, three siblings, two sisters and one brother, are home-schooled by their parents, having no idea of life outside their prison. Within the family, the patriarch and his submissive wife give their offspring tape-recorded lessons which deliberately teach them the wrong meaning of words, further alienating them from reality. However, when the father introduces the son to Christina, a bad influence and a woman who is hired to service him sexually, the frail equilibrium of things will be disrupted with unforeseen consequences.

  • Three teenagers live isolated, without leaving their house, because their over-protective parents say they can only leave when their dogtooth falls out.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A far reach from the Jules Dassin/Melina Merkouri axis of a generation ago, this erotic horror film shows a dark side of rural Greece, with a Hitchcockian logic that could make it someday a candidate for a re-make, tying up several loose ends. The insane world the father creates for his teenage family falls apart when the daughters discover sex, the trade-off being a jar of hair jell. His wife goes along, and if anything, is further beyond any limits than he. One hopes for the girls' canines (dogteeth), to appear, with their prophesy of escape. The younger daughter's primal dancing suggests an much earlier Greek paganism, though in general the games they play have a disconcertingly modern and innocuous feel. George Cosmatos had a script about a crazy family in a similar setting, ending with their hacking each other to death. This film doesn't go that far and works within its own setting. The father is played outwardly straight, with a hair-trigger temper. I was hoping to hear a click of the latch on the trunk of his Mercedes, when he goes through the door of the factory to his day job. It never came.

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