A Dog’s Way Home proves to be one of the most horrifying family movies

A Dogs Way Home proves to be one of the most horrifying family movies

Although I love nearly all aspects of traveling, there is one thing that I could certainly go without: the grueling ten-hour plane rides filled with discomfort, restlessness, and sheer boredom. As I boarded the red-eye flight from Chicago to Rome this summer, I was relieved to see hundreds of screens with endless movies and TV shows conveniently located on the seatback of each and every chair on the plane. Knowing that I now had some form of entertainment, I began the search for a film that would not only keep me entertained, but also stand out from the thousands of others I would be viewing within the next ten hours in the sky.

When I came across the new film A Dog’s Way Home, I quickly found myself pressing the play button that rested on the nose of the precious puppy on the cover photo. After seeing the film categorized as “new and most popular” on Xfinity, I figured it must be worth a watch. But after the hour and thirty-six minutes I spent watching—and helplessly nodding off—I learned that the film is simply a horrifying, cliche movie that is as misleading as its adorable cover photo. 

Death, animal hatred, and animal suffering should never be the main themes of a film made for the younger generations.”

Centered around a pit bull puppy named Bella, the plot tells the tale of an endangered dog taken in by animal-lover Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King). Bella is nurtured and loved endlessly by Lucas, his friends, and his family, but the location of their quaint Denver home leaves Bella at constant risk. As pitbulls are not allowed on the streets of the city, the police department has it out to capture Bella and keep her off of the streets for good. After an unfortunate accident, Bella finds herself 400 miles away from her beloved home and owner Lucas. Throughout the film, Bella embarks on a difficult journey back home, and along the way crosses the path of humans, animals, and new companions, all of whom will leave lasting impacts on their lives forever. 

As the movie dragged on, I began to feel as if I was watching the same scene on repeat. The storyline was winding itself around constant loops; it so greatly lacked the originality I was hoping to find residing in the film. 

Not only was the film a repetitive disaster, but it was strikingly similar to A Dog’s Purpose, which has a similar plot, but the quality of acting in the two differ substantially. While A Dog’s Purpose featured well-known actors including Dennis Quaid and Penny Lipton, A Dog’s Way Home lacked any human acting at all. 

Directed by Charles Martin Smith, the film is clearly labeled, advertised, and depicted in one movie genre: family action and adventure. As I watched the film, I found myself in disbelief that children, especially animal lovers, would ever be able to sit through the movie without being in constant fear and even terror. Copious times throughout Bella’s intense journey, the screen displayed horrifying images and scenes that could easily make a theater full of children erupt with screams.

Death, animal hatred, and animal suffering should never be the main themes of a film made for the younger generations. After viewing heart-touching trailers and ads for months leading up to the release date of the film, I figured that A Dog’s Way Home would be a unique and entertaining film to watch with any animal lover. While sitting through each scene, I quickly learned to not be fooled by the false advertising that the creators sent out to the public. 

The movie with a sweet puppy on the cover is certainly anything but lighthearted and family-oriented.