Bitch

Marianna Palka wrote, directed, and plays the title role in this horror satire about a selfish suburban family whose stay-at-home mom begins to take on the characteristics of a stray dog in the neighborhood, barking, growling, and leaving feces around the house. Regrettably the film is less about this character, who spends most of her screen time in a shadowy basement acting like Cujo, than about her philandering husband (Jason Ritter), so ill-equipped to parent their four children that he enlists his sister-in-law (Jaime King) to handle the situation. The father is unsympathetic, the kids are uninteresting, and the sister-in-law is unnecessary, so the mother’s absence from her own story becomes glaring. The tone oscillates between crude horror, mirthless black comedy, and unearned sentiment.