Tuesday, July 5, 2016

FAMILIAR made me squirm in my chair


Richard Powell comes through again with a 24 minute short called FAMILIAR - also known as the film that made me squirm in my seat! Now, this is a rare thing. It NEVER happens. I've seen so many horror films with so many disguising and disturbing visuals - from CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST to SUSPIRIA, but nothing has had me squirming in my seat like Familiar did up to now!

John Dodd has a problem. He wants out of his marriage and has an exit strategy all worked out. However, things take an odd turn when his wife surprises him with some good news. And now, he needs to revise his strategy drastically. Again, I'll say no more for fear of spoiling...the surprise. :)

Robert Nolan's performance is stellar as this TELL-TALE HEART-like story unfolds. I honestly had no idea where things were going to go when it began, then felt like I was on a roller coaster that wasn't going to stop until it smashed into the ending after it really started rolling. Nolan's voice over and presence is like a messenger of doom - dark, foreboding, and grim. Astrida Auza's performance as John's wife Charlotte is grand as well. Sad and lonely and endearing.

Richard Powell's direction and story drags you into a horrid series of situations. You start out feeling like you are in on the game with the lead, but soon you realize that you're as out of control as he is and it's not going to end well. There are a few turns in the piece that I absolutely loved. They are handled with the skill of a surgeon and play out with perfection. 

And....body horror. Perfectly presented. With horrific results and chair squirming mastery. 

I loved Powell's HEIR as well. I'd love to see what he does with a feature length film.

Do yourself a favor and seek out Familiar, but don't watch or read anything else about it until after you see it. You'll be happy that you went into things cold.


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