The Magnus Protocol Reviews: “Pet Project”


The Magnus Protocol Reviews: “Pet Project”

Pet Project

“Pet Project” Does Not Have The Time To Be Scary

Pet Project” is so short. I’m convinced that it exists to introduce one piece of lore and that’s about it. Time will tell, but this is likely the most succinct review of an episode I’ll maybe do for the whole series. What is there to say about this little vignette besides that it was, indeed, a horror story?

And it didn’t have to be like this. There are great ideas here. I love the concept of a horror story told through an examination of a shop—it allows for such a slow unfolding of spooky ideas. I was convinced something horrible would happen to the squirrel. The weird conflict of someone desperately trying to sell snakes has great foreshadowing potential. But “Pet Project” doesn’t use those options.

It doesn’t use much of anything. This episode lacks impact. There’s no time to care about the main character or his father. Having the story abruptly switch to horror is fine, and well done with the audio, but then the horror moments are under-described and quick as well.

Pet Project

Body Horror Isn’t Enough To Make This Story Work

“Pet Project” is also a little confusing. The timeline—I think—swings around at least once. It cuts back halfway through, introducing an idea that could’ve been doled out organically. Even locationally, I’m not clear on the layout of the shop or where people are in relation to each other.

Even the meta-plot is barebones. Alice being jealous is a plotline we’ve already explored somewhat. Gwen being cagey and disturbed by her new job is not a revelation. Sam being obsessed with the truth is very cosmic horror protagonist of him but isn’t new either. I meant it when I said this story almost entirely seems to be planting a plot idea for later. And I suppose that idea is interesting. Supernatural entities wanting access to the Magnus Institute’s program, including—maybe—an avatar of The Corruption, has implications. But I don’t know how much that truly matters.

And by that statement, I guess I also mean I don’t know how much “Pet Project” matters. It’s true filler, but not even that great of filler.  

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