Insipidly Dull

Scream Factory and IFC Midnight have done Kindred no favors by comparing the movie to Rosemary’s Baby, a bona fide horror classic. Director Joe Marcantonio’s tepid “thriller” is a dry, terribly slow drama that goes nowhere fast. Worse, the premise is contrived and ends poorly. Horror fans will be greatly disappointed if they are expecting any actual chills or suspense in this middling film about pregnancy.

Charlotte (Tamara Lawrence) is pregnant when her boyfriend suddenly passes away in an accident. Soon after the fragile young woman is taken in by the boyfriend’s controlling mother Margaret (Fiona Shaw). A series of mostly unbelievable contrivances follow which have Charlotte largely held against her will in Margaret’s stuffy mansion.

Director Joe Marcantonio’s tepid “thriller” Kindred is a dry, terribly slow drama that goes nowhere fast

Thomas (Jack Lowden) is Margaret’s step-son, who keeps an obsessive eye on Charlotte and helps around the house. Charlotte is increasingly plagued by hallucinations and other issues that may or may not be due to her pregnancy.

The always reliable Fiona Shaw is cast perfectly for her role, she’s about the only bright spot in this well-made turkey. Everything else is dull or simply uninteresting. Kindred attempts to play up the tension of Charlotte’s concerns, as it becomes increasingly clear that Margaret has no plans on letting Charlotte get away. The thriller is a slow burn with no pay-off. There’s no real meat for suspense fans to sink their teeth into because very little actually happens.

Kindred is one movie you shouldn’t believe the glowing professional reviews. It’s critic-proof largely thanks to the cast and its measured approach, however many will find Kindred a tedious bore. Marcantonio may have had something if Kindred had gone a trashier route, but he’d rather mess around with raven imagery than deliver a terrifying thriller. Pregnancy is a vulnerable time for a woman. Kindred tries playing with that fear and fails badly.

Video

There’s no doubting the pristine video quality from the fantastic 2.39:1 presentation. Kindred is a sharp, cleanly-shot movie boasting strong definition. It has polished 1080p video that maintains consistently high focus and depth with a neutral color palette. A touch of softness and average shadow detail creep into the moodier scenes.

The main feature runs almost 101 minutes on a BD-50. The AVC encode nicely replicates the clean cinematography without an issue. Scream Factory has fashioned a nearly flawless presentation from an unfiltered transfer, done with stark professionalism. While Kindred really isn’t eye candy per se, the movie looks impressive.

Audio

Kindred’s 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio is a classy, well-balanced surround mix with full dynamics. It couldn’t be characterized as a powerhouse but the active design engages listeners in the more dramatic moments. The low-key score has lush fidelity. Kindred is a dialogue-driven affair with excellent vocal reproduction and transparency.

Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles play in a white font, inside the 2.39:1 frame. An Audio Descriptive track is included.

Extras

Scream Factory includes a slipcover for this IFC Midnight release. Reversible cover art is inside the case.

Audio Commentary by Director Joe Marcantonio – The director and co-writer explains his movie, discussing compromises and detailed behind-the-scenes information.

Kindred Trailer (02:15 in HD)

Shout Factory Trailers (06:43 in HD) – The following trailers play before the main menu: Hunter Hunter, Embattled, Stardust.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Kindred
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Movie

A boring, witless and mostly contrived “thriller” about a pregnant woman held against her will.

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1.5 (2 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 41 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray: