[Short Film Spotlight] Fatal Pictures Presents Familiar


While there’s nothing better than a good horror movie theater viewing, we often forget that short films can be just as rewarding. Think about it – you can typically find them for free online, they usually show some of the best up and coming talents in the genre, and most of the time they can be even more creative and original because the filmmakers are also funding the project themselves. I’ve seen some pretty good horror shorts in my day, and I think it’s time I start sharing them with you all – no sense in being greedy!

For my first of many recommendations, I’m looking at our Canadian friends from Fatal Pictures and their tremendous little body-horror short titled Familiar. Running at about twenty-two minutes, I was able to catch Familiar at the New York City Horror Film Festival back in November, and man was I blown away. Telling the story of John (Robert Nolan), a man struggling with his mid-life crisis, we watch as he attempts to deal with the mundane life that has imprisoned him, listening to the voice in his head guiding him to freedom. But when that voice turns out to be something more, John attempts to take control of his mind once again, fighting to silence the whispering voice once and for all. And yes – that’s where the Cronenberg-inspired body horror comes in.

I wasn’t the only one impressed with Familiar though. Aside from the heap of glowing reviews scattered all around the internet, the folks over at FEARnet have posted the short in its entirety, making a viewing as easy as clicking your mouse. In fact, you should do it right now. Seriously. Just click here! Go, go, go!

So what did you guys think? I personally loved the slow burn nature as we watch John go from disturbed family man to complete psycho, finishing with an ending that kicks you right in the gut. In twenty minutes, writer/director Richard Powell has accomplished something many feature films can’t even do, building up a proper story that ends with a bang.

If you liked Familiar, then be sure to be on the lookout for Fatal Pictures’ next project as well, another short film titled Heir. Promising to be even more over-the-top insane than Familiar, actor Robert Nolan is again re-teaming with writer/director Richard Powell, but this time Bill Oberst Jr. is coming along for the ride. Here’s the press release with more details:

After connecting with a stranger of similar interests online, family man Gordon and his son Paul, embark on an ill-fated road trip in which Gordon aims to indulge in a secret passion. Before the day ends a horrible truth will be uncovered and a harsh lesson will be learned.

Combining the best and brightest of our previous film, FAMLIAIR, with new and accomplished collaborators (BILL OBERST JR, MARC ROUSSEL and RON BASCH from Red Sneakers Media), HEIR is set to be a disturbing, practical FX driven horror short which examines one of societies darkest taboos in a way only Fatal Pictures can. HEIR stands to be our darkest, sharpest and most successful film to date!

Since I loved Familiar, I’m definitely excited to see what these guys do with a father and son relationship, and how more body horror is going to work its way into the story. Actually, I’m a little afraid to see how they do it, because the ending of Familiar was a moment of gross-out goodness, so let’s just hope for the best for our son character. Whatever, any project that is driven by practical FX gets a thumbs up in my book. Go ahead Fatal Pictures, do your worst – I’m ready to be drenched in fake blood. Oh, and if you’d like to support our filmmakers as they gear up for Heir, be on the lookout for their crowd-funding campaign when it’s launched! Support independent horror! C’mon, you know you want to!

So here it is folks, the first of many short film recommendations that you can watch on your own, at any time, for free! I hope you all enjoyed Familiar as much as I did, as those final moments are still seared into my brain. Ugh, self-mutilation just gets to me, but so does the monotony that is an everyday, working man’s 9-5 lifestyle. I’ve just learned to drown that little voice out with alcohol and horror movies – that’s a healthy alternative, right?