Familiar, from producer Zach Green and writer/director Richard Powell, is possibly one of the greatest psychological horror films I’ve ever seen. In less than 25 minutes, Green and Powell succeeded in telling the story of a boring man named John with a wife and one daughter. John, played by Robert Nolan, narrates his life in a very poetic manner, explaining his very dull and unexciting life. To make things worse, John discovers his wife Charlotte is having another baby. This is where everything takes a wild turn.
During a very disturbing psychological meltdown, the “voice of reason” in John’s head turns the tables and begins to take control of him. It’s almost as if something inexplicably evil has possessed the already messed-up John.
Familiar at first seems like your average psychological horror short, but it then completely takes a sharp turn into something else. Something else meaning something so brilliantly terrifying, it will leave you at the very edge of your seat shivering. I haven’t seen much from Fatal Pictures, but now I am craving more. And I am ashamed to say, that when I first watched the teaser trailer, I wasn’t expecting much. But, man, did I get much. Fatal Pictures’ work is much greater and deserves much more attention than what you see in today’s horror/thriller films.
In short, this is horror done correctly.
Review By HorrorCrone
We here at Totally Horror were presented with a delightfully frightful collection of short stories under the cover of One Buck Horror. I read Volume 1, and I have to say, I’m looking forward to being surprised and spooked by the next volumes in the series. The stories are written with easy to follow prose, and they all have young protagonists, but this is where the similarities among the stories end. The reader is taken on a fascinatingly scary journey from freaky houses to haunted cornfields, and introduced to characters who seem familiar but are oddly sinister or outright terrifying. I was enthralled and completely creeped out by turns, sometimes too filled with dread to turn the page and yet too spellbound to stop.
“Jenny’s House,” by Ada Hoffmann, the ideal choice to start the storytelling, initially seemed to be an innocent fable told from the point of view of a young child. But the tale immediately turned darker with a frightening end that left me rather surprised and alarmed for Jenny and her family, as the author deftly left the true end of the story up to the reader. “A Lullaby for Caliban,” by Mark Onspaugh is a shockingly tender story which literally left me shaking in reaction, as fun and games for a group of teens leads to a terrifying new reality. This story is highly recommended, and worth the price of the book on its own. “The Last Nephew,” by Elizabeth Twist really took me down to the depths of psychological horror, and got under my skin. The “oogie” factor on this one is not to be missed. It is a truly frightening, awesome horror. “The Cornfield,” by Mike Trier is clearly written by a master storyteller: the way in which we are slowly let into this young man’s horror is amazing. The writing left me breathless and devastated right to the final word. And, the final story in the book, “The Ginger Men,” by Julie Jansen was a unique take on an old horrifying story, and again, told from the point of view of a teen.
What makes One Buck Horror Volume 1 work so well is the fact that the stories are told from the vantage point of young people who take the reader with them as they make horrifying discoveries and deal with fantastic situations. Many times throughout the book, I found myself wondering how I would deal with the issues they faced, and if I would have the same level of success. It’s a question I’m glad I don’t have to answer. For only 99 cents, be sure and pick up One Buck Horror Volume 1 for a creepy, scary, terrifying good time.
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