Familiar is one of the best short films I have seen in a long time.
Because the film is just over twenty minutes long the story line has to be direct, clear and concise.
There is so much beyond this being a scary film, this is a feature to be analyzed and torn apart at the seams.
From how the Daughter is described, to what is discovered in the mirror, to the pregnancy, and possible jealousy, food, prison! There is so much to be theorized and enjoyed. Everything is perfect and tied together with a beautiful bloody bow.
Robert Nolan (Worm) gives a meaningful performance as John Dodd, the Father figure. With barely any lines he conveys most of his characters personality through his body and facial expressions. This is a talent lost since the golden days of Hammer.
John‘s Wife Charlotte is portrayed by Astraida Auza (The Bare Bones). Charlotte is a sad woman whom seems to have little in life to look forward to as her Daughter, Jordan (Cathryn Hostick: Words of Goodbye), is off to college in a matter of months. Auza did a fantastic job giving the wife’s persona a true sense of desperation, a need for sympathy and a woman who is unhappy in life. Her performance screams for empathy.
Asking to sum up Familiar is not an easy task, there are many aspects to this film.
John Dodd, a 45 year old man who sweats bitternes about his life and the people around him.
Intelligent, paranoid. vengeful and quit-witted. The progression of John throughout Familiar is something to be admired. Going back to the script, the way everything unfolds and how John changes in cohesion with the audiences view of him falls in line perfectly with what is happening in the plot.
Charlotte doesn’t seem aware of what is going on around her. A tragic and well thought-out miscarriage and a mundane lifestyle she is pushed into depression. As a woman it is hard to not have sympathy for Charlotte which only causes more distaste for John. It becomes clear before the first ten minutes are up that John and his thoughts are two separate entities, with one following the other. By now it could be assumed John is suffering from a severe psychological breakdown.
There is a point in Familiar which John and the audience seemingly come to a massive -shocking surprise about alter personality and its origins. Done masterfully, an a delight to experience as a viewer and, totally fucking creepy.
It is one of the best macabre features to come along in years!
Short, long, fat, tall… BEST MOVIE in a long time and will be remembered for its dialogue, scrutinized for its metaphors and loved by all who call themselves horror movie fans.
As advised, watch Familiar.
Now! Stop what you are doing, and go watch it!
(was that me or inside your own mind??)