John hates his family and his life. He is patiently waiting for his daughter to go to college and have daily thoughts of leaving. When his wife tells him she is pregnant with another baby he finally loses it, and the voice in his head is slowly taking control of his body.
After the excellent short film that was "Worm" (a film that could only be compared to greats such as "Falling Down", only more creepy) by Fatal Pictures I couldn't wait to see the follow-up from the same team. I must admit that I thought I knew kinda what to expect from this one as it involved most of the same people, but this was something very different.
To begin with the story shares a few things - Robert Nolan plays a middle-aged man who is about to lose it. But this time it's not a teacher who hates his students, but a father and husband who hates his family. It's also told much through his inner voice, as "Worm" was as well. But because this one is about a father, it becomes so much more freaky to watch. Once things kick in and the wife announces that she's pregnant again, John starts to look into ways of getting rid of the baby without her blaming him. Slowly John's inner voice takes control and is very soon in charge. This is until John notices that his inner voice might be more than just a voice. Maybe it's something inside of him that wants to get out. The unsettling thriller we were watching quickly turns into a Cronenbergian nightmare.
I can't deny it - this is the best short film I have watched in a very, very long time. It's nothing short of amazing in almost every sense. It's a visually amazing film in all it's HD glory - the cinematography is spot on and the effects are gruesome. The story is perfectly told - slowly growing from a dark psychological thriller into something we never expected, a messy body horror. Producer Zach Green said with confidence that I wouldn't be disappointed and that's proof of people knowing what they are doing. The team knows how good this film is, and that's not smugness - "Familiar" is brilliant.
I can't get into this film without talking about Robert Nolan. He was great in "Worm". His performance in "Familiar" makes the performance in "Worm" look bad. His voice has a certain tone to it that makes the narration equally intense as it feels realistic, and yet again he manages to make you question if you really know the people you spend time with every day? If you knew their deepest thoughts, maybe you'd run for your life.
There is only one problem with "Familiar". It ends. Now, for a short film the ending is perfect. A short film can end without a "real" ending, and I think the team knows it. But "Familiar" is so damn good that I just can't get enough, I would've wanted this to be a feature. It's amazing to me to see such an ambitious short film, and I love short films myself but people don't give them the attention they deserve. If "Familiar" was a feature everyone would be talking about it for years. It would be sad if the runtime of this film keeps it from the spotlight it so rightfully deserves to be standing in.
I don't know exactly which people returned from "Worm", so if I miss someone important here, I appologize. All I wanted to say was that as long as producer Zach Green, writer/director Richard Powell and actor Robert Nolan work together, I will come back for more. These three alone show more talent in these two short films than most mainstream Hollywood movies I have seen for years do. If they decide to make a feature together then there is no way in hell they won't be remembered for years to come. I wish this was me sucking up but I can't fake excitement like this. "Familiar" is intense, unsettling and just so wonderfully twisted. It's the perfect horror short.