Familiar review

Synopsis: John Dodd is a man who is becoming increasingly displeased with his typical suburban life to the point of madness. As he cruises through his 40′s on autopilot, our hero often daydreams about his parasitic daughter heading off to college; though most of his time is spent obsessing over how much he detests his wife Charlotte (Astrida Auza). Just when he thinks that he’s free of his stale marriage and his pathetic existence, his spouse drops a bomb: she’s pregnant, a revelation which causes John to have a complete psychological breakdown. Under control of the persuasive voice inside his head, John embarks on a dark journey to free himself from his self-imposed shackles, that is, until things go too far.

Review: “Familiar,” a short written and directed by Richard Powell, and produced by Fatal Pictures, takes the audience on the dark journey through John’s mind. The short is contrasted with very few polite conversations, but mostly John’s very real, hateful thoughts about his family. Wicked? Yes…but at times, wickedly funny. The viewer is taken this trip, narrated by John’s evil thoughts, experiencing the suffocation he feels at the hands of his wife. In the end, we see his demons show themselves physically. The only way for John to get rid of them, is to destroy himself in a bloody, gory and painful way.

“Familiar” is a great short, not only because the concept is great, but also because Robert Nolan’s performance is stellar as John. Contrasting the mild-mannered doormat of a husband and father, with Nolan’s angry, sometimes deranged voice as the demonic, hateful John inside was brilliantly played. The manner in which the film was shot also helped set the scene, helping to build the suspense and sense of angst.

Bottom line on “Familiar” is if you get a chance to see it, do so. It’s not a slasher / gore-fest piece of work, but more of a story driven thriller. Kudos to Fatal pictures for making a 23 minute film that will leave many horror fan more satisfied than some of the run-of-the mill features out there.

Christine Caprilozzi
Christine Caprilozzi
Christine Bucci-Caprilozzi joined the Horror News Network staff in 2005 when the site was still ComicMonsters.com. She started as a Staff Journalist adding interviews, comic reviews and convention coverage. Christine is also the Lead Organizer/Director of the CT HorrorFest and is a firm believer in keeping the indie spirit of the horror community alive. You can follow her on Twitter @Christine_HNN.

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