The Family – Blood in the Snow 2021

The Family

The Family – Blood in the Snow 2021

A young family, living in isolation and forced into hard labor out of fear of dishonoring their Father and Mother, fight to free themselves from their religious cult.

The children of a deeply religious family begin to doubt the teachings of their parents in . Caleb (), Abigail (), and Evelyn () are members of a rural family unit run under the script religious guidance of their Father () and Mother (). Things begin to change when a new female named Mary () enters the family unit, intended as a bride for Caleb. However, when their Father ends up having different plans for Mary, Caleb and Abigail begin to have doubts about the authenticity of his teachings.

The Family is a thriller co-written and directed by Dan Slater about a rural 1800s family that is more akin to a deeply religious cult. The plot of the film kicks off with the family's youngest son Elijah () being dragged away by his very domineering father for rebelling against his teachings. The focus then switches to oldest son Caleb, who as the only black man in the family immediately raises red flags. Caleb is being groomed into manhood, but when his father has different plans for Caleb's new bride Mary, doubts begin to arise about whether Father's teachings are true.

I don't want to get too into the specific plot details of The Family, but it is a film that reminded me of both Robert Eggers' The Witch and M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. The Family is a film that tackles the true horrors of both religious zealotry and the consequences of blind faith. There are hints scattered throughout that nothing on this rural farm is all that it seems, which ultimately makes The Family a much scarier and unnerving film.

The Family screened as part of the 2021 Blood in the Snow Film Festival

Trailer for The Family – Blood in the Snow 2021

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.