REVIEW: The Kindred (2021)

dir. Jamie Peterson

Sins of the past rip their way through to the present in this latest offering from director Jamie Patterson. Sharing DNA with ghost stories such as Dark Water and The Orphanage, it opens with a traumatic accident that leaves Helen (April Pearson) with amnesia and a baby born during her coma. As Helen grapples with her new reality – plus her father’s recent suicide – it soon becomes clear that terrible deeds comitted decades ago are coming back to haunt her.

Boasting an accomplished ensemble – with a powerful turn from Pearson – the film trades in difficult themes whilst being equal parts kitchen-sink drama, urban ghost story and gripping investigative thriller. This mesh of genres occasionally conflicts, but also reaps benefits as it covers subjects not always a focal point for horror, the trials of early parenthood being particularly well captured here.

If it all feels underpowered on the fright front – aside from a wonderfully creepy third act villain – it’s nevertheless compelling, exploring themes that feel especially relevant. The need for occasional jump scares may threaten to diminish the story, but Christian J. Hearn’s script (reuniting with Patterson after Fractured) powers The Kindred toward to a potent conclusion.

⭐⭐⭐

Russell Bailey

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