Directed by #AndrewLeePotts
Short Film Review by Jack Bottomley
Sometimes the simplest things can yield the most impressive result. Such is the case in Primeval’s #AndrewLeePotts’ Kindred, a very low budget short film he directs/co-writes/co-stars in, which simply aims to make use of a location near his home, and to tell a story of family bonds. In turn, it offers a surprising, profound and enjoyable thriller/drama. The film screened at this year's #StarburstInternationalFilmFestival and follows two brothers as they go into the woods to uncover the source of a strange haunting voice that keeps occurring at regular intervals and has baffled them and their family. As night draws in, the two brothers head further towards the source and what they eventually find will alter the course of their lives.
As Pixar’s latest film Onward looks at the connection of brotherhood, so too does this film, albeit in a far more adult fashion. As we follow these two characters on their journey to uncovering this potentially sinister mystery, this short film admirably builds on its two central characters, with warm development and authentic dialogue. The writing by Potts and #TamaraAlBassam is often genuinely funny, has a touch of emotion and most importantly of all - unlike many movies short or long - it feels realistic. Kindred works as well as it does because it takes the time to make these characters mean something, and as the film continues we find both brothers have their own struggles in life and it is only the start of a series of revelations to come.
The chilling echoing mysterious voice emanating from the wooded areas and tall grassy fields is the main pull of this thrilling film but as you come for this potentially horrific mystique, you stay for the characters and their relationship. As the older brother #JosephMillson is the strong foundation, a family man, driven by providing but at the same time racked with worry for the future and constantly baffled by the actions of his younger bro. Whereas Potts as the said younger brother is still struggling with maturity as he nears 40 and is goofily obsessed with his online world, trying his best to avoid the harsher real one that lies beyond his viral videos. Together they are in a way atypical of the mismatched movie duo, as they are two sides of the same coin but both pretty much find common ground, as they face the same struggles and while initially it seems rather random for them to start opening up to each other on this trudge through the woods, as they both partake in this searching for the origin of that voice, it ultimately comes to payoff in a big way.
Some experienced crowds may see where things are heading but I found myself surprised by developments and the way Potts directs is with care for the characters and the budget is put to perfect use, as the very most is made of the genuinely foreboding settings and the talented limited cast and crew. Kindred tackles the lengths of desperation and their costs, as two brothers venture into the unknown and the audience with them, and at a pretty lean 20 minutes, the short is the perfect length to be allowed breathing room and yet keep things moving steadily towards the climax.