The film that started it all. Lanthimos' recipe uses most if not all the following ingredients: compulsive & recursive re-enactments, deadpan robotic dialogues, sadism & perversity, manipulation & copulation, control & abuse, Ballardian & Augean non-places. Inter nos, I'm glad Lanthimos dropped the Dogma 95 style (handheld camera, no make up, no studio lighting, improvisation etc.) in his subsequent films.
The enigmatic Lanthimos creates a concept that requires more than a little patience much like a Diaz or Ceylan film. At first glance, this post-structuralist thinkpiece may seem like watching paint dry, but like every great avant-garde auteur, it forms the foundation for his subversive oeuvre and filmmaking portfolio. Like a seemingly banal piece in a modern art gallery, there is more than meets the eye.
After an auteur/director first successful movie, it's hard not to think about his previous works as a bit surpassed. 'Kinetta' has some WTF moments and bizarre characters, but something is missing - something that Lanthimos has found in 'Dogtooth' and has masterfully developed till 'The Lobster'.
Austere, opaque, awkward and somehow absolutely beguiling. Lanthimos excels at reinventing cinematic conventions, using non-narrative stasis and non sequitur to construct a world of anti-meaning. Brilliantly challenging.