Sunday, November 8, 2020

Kindred - Movie Review

The Movie: Kindred

The Director: Joe Marcantonio

The Cast: Tamara Lawrance, Jack Lowden, Fiona Shaw, Edward Holcroft 

The Story: Plagued by mysterious hallucinations, a pregnant woman suspects that the family of her deceased boyfriend has intentions for her unborn child.

The Review:
This movie is really creepy and gets under your skin. Not in a literal dark sense, but in a way that shows how dark people can be inside and what they are capable of when they will stop at nothing to get what they want. The justifications, the plots, the scheming, the brainwashing, and the sense that what someone believes they are doing is true and just even when it comes at the expense of others. These undercurrents definitely resonate in today's world and makes for a very striking experience.

Tamara Lawrance is pretty fantastic in the lead role as her character Charlotte is sent down a rabbit hole of despair, confusion, and conspiracy. There are so many times in the story where you don't quite know if what is happening is real and Lawrance embodies the paranoia and fear that you yourself feel as the viewer. Fiona Shaw is also great as the would be mother in law who plays the dementedly evil role quite well and in a way that shows she truly believes what she is doing is right. It was also interesting to see Jack Lowden in a role that is vastly different from anything I have seen him in before.

The movie is set primarily on the UK and cinematographer Carlos Catalán takes full advantage of the English countryside with sweeping views of never ending fields which is then juxtaposed against the stuffy, closed in feeling you get from the inside of the family's primary residence. It's interesting how such a vast and spacious building was made to feel so inescapable and claustrophobic yet it was done to great effect. Colors throughout the film are very dull and drab whether in the daylight, at night time, indoors, or outdoors, and especially during the quasi dream like sequences which are further muted and darkened to add even more creepiness to everything that is going on.

The Verdict:
Kindred is an unnerving thriller that digs deep into our emotional well being. First time feature film director only slips a bit by letting some of the movie drag a bit too long. A five to ten minute shorter run time would have made this an even tighter production and given it a more effective punch. Still a job well done.

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