Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Directed by Richard Powell

Robert Nolan - John Dodd
Astrida Auza - Charlotte Dodd
Cathryn Hostick - Jordan Dodd

     Through a series of tragic events, a middle aged man grows to suspect the negative impulses plaguing his mind may not be his own.

      I know I mentioned that I really like when directors or producers get in touch with me about their work. In fact, I'll probably keep on loving it actually. The reason why is that it means that I'm doing something right (to me at least). Another reason why I think I'm doing something right with this is that most feedback I get from those same producers and directors say I'm usually fair and don't try to pander to them, but actually give a review that isn't afraid to pick out a problem. Yes, I can be rough sometimes. Even mean if the film is really bad. That's the thing though, when people send out their work for review, they want an honest opinion because it helps them find their weak points and in turn that makes them work on fixing problems.

     Even though the film has three actors in it, it really only has one in all respect. Yes, Astrida Auza does a good job as Charlotte Dodd, as a wife and mother. As well does Cathryn Hostick as Jordan Dodd, the daughter who could care less about her family. Both play their roles competently though both of the characters are used more as plot devices more than anything. The one thing Familiar lets the viewer know is that John Dodd, played by Robert Nolan, is the main character. Most of the conversations between the family members are sporadic and minimal at best. There's nothing wrong with this as there is plenty of conversation in the short. Actually, all the main conversation takes place between John Dodd and himself. Robert Nolan, who plays John Dodd does an outstanding job making sure you know who is talking during these moments of communication between himself and, well, himself. While the real John is talking there's a twinge of sadness to his lines and a resignation. Yet when the hidden John Dodd talks, Nolan adds venom to every word and a sense of depravity to the thoughts spoken though left unsaid. Nolan voicing makes it easy to understand who is talking and the seductive nature of his other character is easily heard.

     Director Richard Powell has directed a rather nasty piece of work that is offsetting as well as hard to watch at times. The film is wonderfully shot, and I'm also happy to see that more directors are using Red One cameras as it makes the shots look vibrant and brings out the little details. This is especially true during the ending of the film when John Dodd has had enough and and the crystal clear image of Dodd's final choice is displayed. Yet it's also during this that the true horror of the film comes to light, and Director Powell actually out-does David Cronenberg in the body horror field of the genre. The one hit this short has from being almost perfect to me was the transition the story takes from psychological horror to physical horror. It was as if the story hit a speed bump that was hard to work around. Though if the run time had been longer the unexpected turn in story could have been worked in slowly throughout and not be as jolting once it happens.  What was a surprise to me was what I thought was going on turned out to be something different entirely and I would love to go into that, but if I do it would ruin the film for most. Powell also handles the two personalities of John Dodd quite brilliantly and how stray thoughts can have an impact on ones life and how those same thoughts can turn into a life of its own.Whether acted upon or not, the still have a way to worm into your being and fester till they have a way of breaking free no matter how hard the person tries to overpower the urges.

     John's decidedly unfriendly razor manipulation on himself.

      The world is different when people are asleep. Better.

     The film follows the story of John Dodd, twin brother to WORM's psychotic high school teacher Geoffrey Dodd.

     Astrida Auza has been in two shorts with another one in production right now.

     Director Richard Powell has written and directed three short films: Consumption, and the interconnected Worm and Familiar.

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