Movie Review: Short - Familiar (2012)

A few months back, I briefly wrote about an upcoming Horror Short from Fatal Pictures called Familiar, starring Robert Nolan. Directed by Richard Powell and Produced by Zach Green. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to watch it for myself and subsequently write a review on it. So here it is...

John Dodd is a pushing middle aged man who can finally see light at the end of his tunnel. With his daughter getting ready to go off to college, he can dream of a free future. A future that is well within reach until his wife drops a bombshell, she is pregnant!

Although John comes across as a very average person, what we hear from his monologue portrays a totally different kind of man. A man who seems locked in with his true feelings and thoughts of almost pure evil, thoughts which plague him to breaking point. The latest news of pregnancy only serves to exacerbate his feelings of hatred and resentment towards his wife. After his actions have taken us beyond slack jawed gawping to downright disgust, a growth appears on his body and something begins to change. Maybe John isn’t as evil as initially thought. When he confronts his demon he is presented with something far beyond his comprehension!

Familiar tables some very interesting concepts, with all that we see on the exterior, what is really going on inside? A question most people would not generally ask themselves but interesting nonetheless. Robert Nolan plays John, whose inner most thoughts are manifested ever so subtly in his facial expressions. Astrida Auza plays Charlotte, John’s wife and Cathryn Hostick rounds off the cast as Jordan, their daughter.

The overall feel of the film is hauntingly disturbing and wholly poignant. As I mentioned earlier, some aspects of this film will have you sat in disbelief at what John brings himself to do. The culmination of which will have you squirming in your seat!

An eclectic mix of emotions conjures up thoughts of Basket Case and Alien, A bizarre mix but that is what will help Familiar stand out on its own. Familiar is excellently directed, a direction which proves that with the right light and angle you can achieve the desired result and you don’t need to throw CGI at the viewer to get an awe-factor!

As overall creepiness goes, Familiar is in a league of its own, at points it’s almost uncomfortable to watch. With a lot of the film resting solely on Robert Nolan and close up shots as his thoughts permeate his consciousness. As far as horror short’s go, you will not see a better one this year! An overwhelming feeling of “More Please” was all I was left with at the conclusion of this 24 minute masterpiece, with Nolan’s performance shining bright throughout. I was overly impressed and honoured to be given the opportunity to watch this film. Very well done to all involved and I hope to see more from the Fatal Pictures team in the future!

Released: 2012
Familiar (2012) on IMDb
My Rating: 8

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