Recently I received a request to review a short, independent movie named ‘Familiar’
At first glance it seemed pretty good. The stills attached to the email showed promise and I was generally intrigued. But owing to the backlog of posts we have to get through here, I thought it would be another month before I got round to writing a feature on it.
However, after seeing the film only ten minutes ago, I feel compelled to write the review now while its brilliance is still blowing my mind!
Yes folks – This film was EXTRAORDINARY!
The day I joined Erebus Horror was definitely one of my greater choices, because never in all my life have I been privileged enough to view such brilliant independent flicks! But before I start getting emotional and crap, I’ll give you the low-down on this awesome short.
Now from doing a bit of research, I’ve found out that the directors made a similar film before this one, with the same actor playing a different role (whether the titles are connected, I’m not sure.) But since I haven’t seen the earlier one, I’m going to base the review on the premise that this is a stand-alone film. So here goes.
I would describe Familiar as a psychological horror more than anything else. It follows the life of John Dodd (brilliantly portrayed by Robert Nolan,) an ordinary family man going about his daily routine. Doesn’t sound too scary you say? Well there’s something different about this movie – We hear his deepest, inner-most thoughts, and what a crazy, messed up guy he is! On the surface, Dodd looks like a kind, caring husband and doting father. But beneath his calm demeanour dwells a psychopathic presence threatening his sanity.
As the story progresses Dodd’s mental state starts to diminish, following the bombshell that his wife is pregnant. The voice in his head tells him she’s plotting against him, and that he should take drastic action in order to thwart her cunning plan. From here, Dodd starts to go on a downward spiral as the voice in his head starts to take over. He knows he has to take control, even if it means horrendous consequences as a result.
Familiar gives a valuable insight into the unpredictable mind of the psychopath as he desperately tries to cling to his remaining threads of sanity, while at the same time, battling to overcome the demon within. When thinking of something to compare it to, my first thought was of The Shining, coupled with a Clive Barker-esque feel towards the end. But at the same time, the directors obviously have a unique style that gives the film its edge.
What makes this film so great is the flawless acting by Robert Nolan. He definitely brings the character to life, and if the directors have used him in past projects, I’d urge them to consider him for future ones too… Another aspect definitely worthy of a mention is the SFX. I can honestly say that I can’t think of any other independent movie that comes close effects-wise. They truly are remarkable and would not seem out-of-place in any big-budget production.
And finally, I think credit needs to be given to the two guys who were the driving force behind this production; Zach Green and Richard Powell, co-founders of Fatal Pictures. The company, specializing in independent films, is based out of Toronto and was co-founded by these guys back in 2007. Are we glad they’ve come so far? Yes indeed. Do we think they’re going to keep getting better and better? OF COURSE!
We know the anticipation must be killing you. So why don’t we relieve you of that – Here’s a trailer… ENJOY!
Keep an eye out for these guys. I would purchase a bike helmet and eat it if these two don’t go far!
If you want further reading, and to keep up to date with Fatal Pictures, check out the links below.