The Shortround: Familiar (Review)
Here be the plot.
Through a series of tragic events a middle aged man grows to suspect the negative impulses plaguing his mind may not be his own.
the jaded viewer says: In Familiar, we follow John Dodd, twin brother to Geoffrey Dodd who we saw in Worm. He has a American Beauty like life, with a wife and daughter living the suburban dream (or nightmare). Like his brother, we get to hear his inner most thoughts and he's longing for escape from his mid life hell. Dinners are eaten, sleep is dreadful and all John wants is to escape after his daughter goes on to college.
But John believes his wife is the cartoon ball and chain and is plotting to keep him locked to this living hell. Soon a big development has him taking drastic measures to ensure his escape but that nagging voice in his head is more than what it seems. As Familiar concludes into some self inflicted open surgery, John must battle the inner demon living inside of him.
Familiar is the type of short that packs an emotional punch in it's 20 minute run time then most Hollywood dramas. The lack of dialogue other than an inner monologue by Robert Nolan is paced to a point where it slowly grows over time. It clearly is American Beauty meets Cronenberg madness. Powell works the inner monologue with methodical timing and inserts conversational emotions with each scene between the characters.
I would say it lacks in the fact that an eerie conclusion is used as an ending where possibly a reunion between John and his wife might have been more fitting. Clearly the WTF-ness of it all makes it 10 times more terrifying. Nolan's performance is top notch and shows he can drive a short with just his face.
Green and Powell are a hell of an exciting duo in indie film and there is no doubt a feature is on it's way. If Familiar is the type of work we can look forward to, I can't wait.
Check out the teaser trailer.