From the moment The Family begins, its so clear that this story is set in a tough world, where characters wont be running around with big smiles on their faces, living great lives.
We open with Elijah (played by newcomer Onyx Spark) helping tend the fields of a bleak countryside and whilst this opening scene is a difficult watch, it quickly installs the mood of the film very quickly into our minds and theres no way ‘The Family’ will be thought of as a popcorn film. From here we meet the other members of ‘The Family’ we meet the other children who most definitely are there to work, and we meet the overlords of the household. The Mother (played by Toni Ellwand) and The Father (played by Nigel Bennett) who to call them ‘overbearing’ is a large understatement.
‘The Family’ is a beautifully shot, atmospheric, creepy psychological drama that takes us into the families world and shows us just how the children cope living under the rule of the parents. Its an extremely well made film that looks at jealousy, control, fear and survival and the cast are all on top form bringing these characters to life. Highlights for me were the performances by Jenna Warren as Abigail, and Benjamin Charles Watson as Caleb. Those two actors are definitely ones who’s careers you should keep an eye on, as is ‘The Family’s director Dan Slater who alongside Adam Booth also wrote the story.
After the credits roll, you perhaps, like me, are left with some questions in your mind but that does ensure the film stays in your brain long after we fade to black.
Tickets for The Family (and other Grimmfest screenings) can be bought here https://grimmfesteaster.eventive.org/schedule
I had a chance to speak with Dan Slater in advance of the Grimmfest screen about the film, and you can check that out here . Dont worry we do not go into spoilers but do talk about the experience of filming ‘The Family’