The quality of independent short films has been nothing short of amazing in the past few years. Young, budding directors have taken to the format and have flourished in telling their individual stories in 30-minutes or less timeframes.
My most recent stellar experience with a horror film short comes courtesy of Richard Powell’s Familiar. Echoing a Stephen King vibe while emulating a works by David Cronenberg, Familiar was a brilliant and confident piece of filmmaking that confidently tells the story of an everyday man named John Dodd (Robert Nolan) that begins to have destructive and violent thoughts towards members of his own family.
John’s voice is primarily projected via a narrative and the soothing hypnotic voice of Robert Nolan is a perfect fit for the unfolding developments. There is a point in the short where Dodd finds himself in front of a bathroom mirror and it is this scene that catapults the film to its highly satisfying climax.
Almost everything in Familiar is pitch perfect. From the original music by Bernie Greenspoon to the wonderful effects and make-up teams that showed an expert precision that is usually lacking in larger budget full-length features produced out of Hollywierd.
I will guarantee viewers that you will not see the events unfolding as they do ahead of their reveal. All to the credit of Richard Powell’s script, the story unfolds in directions not so easily taken.
This makes Familiar an above average film with a stamp of both our appreciation and approval. Powell has shown some exceptional talent and his growth from his previous (and still brilliant) film, Worm is clearly on display in full gory effect.
The quality of independent short films has been nothing short of amazing in the past few years and Familiar takes its place amongst the best.