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THE FAMILY (2021) [Grimmfest Easter 2022 Review]

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The Family

Directed by Dan Slater
Screening at Grimmfest Easter 2022

A gaggle of youngsters enslaved by their very own ‘dad and mom’, residing a faithful life to their God, have hope that they might at some point face a world with out evil Abaddon tempting their soul onto the darkish path. Forbidden from venturing out of the grounds, the perimeter or which is marked with a line of animal bones, the household reside on a rural smallholding the place the kids work the land so as to survive. When eldest boy Caleb by chance crosses the perimeter within the woods, he begins to query the reality of his father’s strict teachings and whether or not their existence is actually what they’ve been led to imagine.

Tense dramatic thriller THE FAMILY is an uncomfortable watch from the beginning, realizing that these youngsters are embroiled in a cult of their very own ‘dad and mom’ making. I say dad and mom, however we don’t really know the place these youngsters have initially come from – my guess is that they had been both homeless or kidnapped, cos I’m fairly certain no one would deal with their very own youngsters the way in which these two do. With the mom always pointing a rifle on the kids as they toil within the area, while the daddy eagerly preaches the phrase of their spiritual e book, contemplating himself a person made within the picture of their God Etan, these youngsters have been brainwashed into residing such a hopeless, soul destroying life full of concern.

The movie jogs my memory numerous M. Night time Shyamalan’s The Village however the viewer is within the know early on, though it’s not acknowledged as such, that this can be a cult affair and that what lies outdoors of the farmstead is a actuality freed from the restrictions that their dad and mom have certain them by. After we first witness the assault by ‘Abaddon’, indicated by a disruptive, rumbling noise within the sky, it’s plain to see that the daddy of the household doesn’t need his imprisoned youngsters to know in regards to the outdoors world and would relatively strike concern into their hearts that the evil they examine within the good e book is coming to hurt them, and that their father is the one one who can shield them. They even don fuel masks in panic and terror at what Abaddon may unleash. Nonetheless, eldest little one Caleb begins to doubt what they’ve been instructed, sharing his issues with sister Abigail, and this seed of doubt begins to develop inside each. Nonetheless, a brand new addition to their flock, a younger girl named Mary, begins to cloud Caleb’s judgement as he’s been instructed by his father that she’s been promised to him by Etan. With the toxic manipulation by their father thus far, it’s not exhausting to see the place the movie will take this storyline and that is actually when the household’s ideology begins to unravel.

The daddy’s iron fist in THE FAMILY is current from the get-go. A younger boy named Elijah struggles to tug a wheelbarrow by the thick mud and is harshly punished and eliminated by the daddy. Although Caleb does his finest to assist Elijah in his time of want, even he has his limits. Not solely is he fearful of what their father will do if he fights again, but additionally what their disobedience will do to offend their God, wherein the punishment can be delivered twofold by their father as his appointed messenger. As the children break their again within the area and should not allowed to rise above their function in life (Abigail is instructed she is to stay to girls’s jobs when she affords to chop wooden), you’ll be able to see how they’re mentally floor right down to be defeated. We don’t know the way lengthy the children have been below their roof, nevertheless it’s not exhausting to think about what it will be wish to know nothing else and settle for this man’s teachings as the reality. With Caleb coming of age and his father promising that he’ll change into a person and a frontrunner of the flock, you’ll be able to see a component of power enter the siblings’ lives although we’re not sure if it’ll pan out in the way in which we desperately need it to. By ravenous the children, chaining them up and torturing them, the dad and mom have the teenagers below the thumb.

I’ll not have talked about the mom a lot thus far however she is each bit as depraved as the daddy. The best way she seems to creep on her ‘youngsters’ after which goad her husband gives the look that maybe she is each bit guilty for this cult as he’s and should, the truth is, have moulded her husband into what we see in entrance of us. A number of strains of dialogue counsel that her husband could not have been the nice chief we see as soon as earlier than us after they first met, giving credence to the concept that she’s the manipulator and the brains behind the operation. Nonetheless, there’s additionally moments the place she seems to counsel she’s not precisely proud of what her husband does both, particularly within the extra-marital sense, however once more, this might be manipulation on her a part of the kids below her care to react in a sure approach.

A gripping set of performances from the dad and mom and youngsters alike, specifically Nigel Bennett as the daddy, Benjamin Charles Watson as son Caleb and Jenna Warren as his sister Abigail, fill this close-knit movie to the brim with rigidity, a lot so that you could reduce it with a knife. It’s traumatic and a battle to look at at occasions as you empathise with the children who’ve been so badly handled however are inside touching distance of freedom if they might overcome their concern.

Ranking: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆


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