By Christopher Null on Wednesday 5th July 2006
I've been a fan of Renée Humphrey since her teenage days in Fun, over a decade ago. Family could well be considered a sequel to Fun, what with its juicy setup: Humphrey's Jean breaks out of prison, then soon has a couple of white trashies tied up in their kitchen as she threatens their lives. Jean wants "hidden money," oblivious to the fact that those in trailer parks don't often keep large stashes of cash lying around.Jean is quickly on the run, and kind Eldon (Boyd Kestner) and his quiet son Cole (Tanner Richie) pick her up. It looks like it's going to be a typical "murderous hitchhiker" movie, but then director J.M. Logan hits us with the twist of the year: When Eldon is in a gas station, Cole finally speaks up. Eldon's not his dad, he's been kidnapped, and can Jean help him please?Over the rest of the film, it's cat and mouse while trapped in a car, as all three of the principals may or may not be lying about who they are. Meanwhile, there's cash in the trunk and a body count to contend with... God help you if you try to pull this vehicle over for speeding.Humphrey (who also produced the film) is the standout here. Kestner doesn't do much in a straightforward performance, and Richie doesn't yet have the chops to convincingly pull off terror. The script misses a few beats, allowing Cole and Jean plenty of chances to escape, but the squander every opportunity, for reasons unknown. But Logan does good work considering his low budget and his confined environment, shooting inside a car rolling across the desert doesn't give you a ton of opportunities to keep the story hopping, but he pulls it off more often than not.Family isn't particularly terrifying, but it keeps you watching. Never mind the awful title and the non-ending, Logan's a first-time director (having slogged his way up the ranks of Hollywood) who is definitely worth watching.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 3rd November 2006
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Cast & Crew
Screenwriter: Hudson Shock