Last week I had the privilege to interview writer director Richard Powell of FATAL PICTURES about his film HEIR. That film was a horror drama about child molesting and its cyclical nature. The short horror film FAMILIAR however is a story about blame, and regret.
Check out the trailer for FAMILIAR here:
Both films use practical fx to embody the demons in our protagonist to create an entertaining and poignant tale about human nature. In a way both films are two sides of the same coin. They both use the same wrapper but they are both about very different subject matters.
FAMILIAR tells the tale of a family man who absolutely loathes his family. He sees them as symbiotic parasites leeching the life right out of him. Our main character (John Dodd) goes through the motions of everyday life with his family while a inner voice compels him to commit unspeakable acts. The tension is quite palpable. Its strange to say but the protagonist was much more likeable in HEIR than the protagonist in FAMILIAR. That’s not to say that the performance was not excellent. The performances all around were very good. It’s just that John Dodd is kind of an ass. Once the big reveal happens you understand why he does what he does, but his inner thoughts are just plain evil.
I can see a marked improvement in story telling from FAMILIAR to the more recent FATAL PICTURES film HEIR. Ditching the inner monologue in FAMILIAR and focusing on the moment was a great choice for HEIR. It allowed director Richard Powell to focus on the characters emotions and not be so locked into a more straight forward narrative as is the case in FAMILIAR. It’s not like I was able to predict the ending, but I could tell the protagonists intentions were malicious from the start in FAMILIAR. Where as in HEIR I did not know what was going to happen with the main character from moment to moment both internally and externally.
What I see here is a master storyteller perfecting his craft. Each film getting him closer to perfection. All of the technical aspects of this film are excellent. The practical fx and vfx of FAMILIAR are most definitely the standout. They were cringe worthy and definitely worth the price of admission (which is only $2.99 on iTunes). The camera work, lighting, set design, and audio were all done well. The performance of lead actor Robert Nolan who is also the lead actor in HEIR was excellent as always. His reactions to conversations with his family were terrifying. Especially since you can hear his vile inner thoughts the whole time. The performances of the supporting cast were good but muted as they were mainly background noise compared to the madness lurking inside of John Dodd.
Richard Powell and Zach Green of FATAL PICTURES are definitely on the rise. I can’t wait to see what other creepy terrors of the human soul they are cooking up next!
I give FAMILIAR 4 out of five blood spattered stars.
HEIR is definitely the superior film but FAMILIAR goes to places I did not expect, and for that it deserves your attention.
You can check out my interview with director Richard Powell and a video review for HEIR here: https://horrormade.com/2016/07/20/heir-movie-review/
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