written & directed by: Richard Powell
produced by: Zach Green
director of photography: Michael Jari Davidson
John Dodd (the masterful Robert Nolan) is miserable. On the outside, he looks like your average middle-aged middle American. On the inside, however, he is a brooding prisoner in his own home.
‘Familiar’ tells the tale of a man sick of his life, looking at everything in the most negative light possible.
Nolan really steals the show here, which should come as no surprise. With nearly sixty films on his IMDB resume, Nolan is one of the pillars of indie acting. He brings the goods to every role he invests in and his turn as John Dodd is no different.
Driven by a fantastic script penned by Powell, ‘Familiar’ contains a running narrative throughout. Voiced by Nolan, we are able to get as deep as we can possibly bear into the hateful water that boils deep within the film’s lead character.
*Quick note: My favorite line of the film’s narrative:
“You’re on time everyday. So are my bowel movements.” .. Shakespearean!
After a dastardly act of selfishness towards his wife Charlotte, I found myself immediately hating the character of John Dodd.
Astrida Auza, who portrays wife Charlotte Dodd, is great. She achieves a vast array of emotional responses from the viewer in a short period of time in this film. I found myself feeling suffocated by her overbearing chatter one moment then felt crushed and depressed when the momentum-shifting act takes place a few minutes later.
Following this horrible decision, you start to realize it isn’t John we’re hearing- it’s something deeper. Much deeper. Literally and figuratively.
A horrendous growth worthy of award recognition protrudes from the side of poor John’s side. It’s a wonderful analogy for the aforementioned heinous act we witness John commit.
A stomach churning manifestation of pure rage and evil, the special effects in this film are top notch. The fact that Indiana Allemang (Pontypool, Resident Evil: Retribution) was heading the team doesn’t hurt matters.
John finally comes to grips with the fact that there is something else inside of him and decides to fight back. Hysterical desperation leads to some brutal self-mutilation that will leave viewers squirming and fist pumping simultaneously.
Topping off the excellent visual experience is the DP work of Michael Jari Davidson, who also co-produced the film. The shots are perfectly executed, crisp and vivid.
‘Familiar’ was the film equivalent of a great short story, which is exactly what every short film should aim to achieve. It doesn’t get any better than that.
I look forward to future projects by this team and highly recommend getting ‘Familiar’ with this film, if you get a chance to view it.
My Grade: 9/10
Check out the film’s IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2095640/