It's often been said that "familiarity breeds contempt." It can take the form of a sneer whenever you see someone, or constant snide comments designed to make them feel small and insignificant. For some it takes the form of physical violence. John Dodd, is about to find out exactly what form his contempt takes...
I'm going to cut to the quick on this one: I loved it!
This is one of those short films that smoothly leads you along, ratcheting up the "OMG factor" until you're left stunned and wanting more. At 23 minutes, I felt like I'd sat through at least an hour of tension and concentration. My attention was rivited by the unfolding of the story on the screen.
The story is simple at first- a man is unhappy in his life, but grows into something more until at the end you're squirming in your seat... not just at the visuals being put in front of you- but just the thought of it was enough to make me stop eating my popcorn. And I love my popcorn. It was a tightly woven, interesting story that drew me into the action.
Dodd is played by Robert Nolan, and the character is apparently the twin brother of the main character of their previous short horror film, "Worm." Nolan does a great job in this film. He looks like an average everyday guy that feels stuck in a deadend life. Your emotions sway from empathising with his opening thoughts, to being disgusted at some of his actions, to once again sympathizing with him. So much of the acting was done with his eyes and face. They went so well with the voice over of his thoughts. Just a phenomenal performance. I can't really say much about the acting of Astrida Auza- who plays his wife, Charlotte, and Cathryn Hostick as the daughter, Jordan, becaus they weren't in it much. I will say though that they looked the part, and that look added to the feel of the movie.
Short films tend to showcase creative use of camera angles and editing. "Familiar" is no exception. There are simply some beautiful shots in this film that really captured the emotions on Dodd's face. I was also really impressed with the editing. The changes between the wider shots, and closer shots kept the film moving, and created a great sense of tension to what was being seen on the screen. Not only was it technically pleasing, it was visually pleasing and easy to watch.
Oh, and the grue.. OH, the GRUE! Loved it. The messy effects were very well done- and would satisfy any grue hound. I was wincing and sat with my jaw hanging at was shown. Just great!
I am definately going to keep my eyes open for any more short films- and any feature length ones that Zach Green and crew, feel to share with the public. I'm giving "Familiar" a spot in "The Good" for sure.
Want to get familiar with "Familiar"? Well, check out the trailer just below!