The Unfamiliar (2020)
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Critic Reviews for The Unfamiliar
If director Henk Pretorius demonstrates little more than mere competence in building atmosphere, at least he and his casting directors can spot talent in child actors.
Harry McMillan-Hunt delivers a convincing performance in what's a complex role as her young son. But the malevolence of The Unfamiliar remains too muddled and unfocused to truly disturb.
It alternates between being a slightly dull melange of clichés and a wildly misjudged depiction of a marginalised culture.
It really is the case of character development and context being sacrificed in place of jump scares and arbitrary exoticism in this scary but over-familiar horror.
Pretorious and DOP Pete Wallington shoot the reveal of the film's devilish protagonist (repping stellar creature design work from makeup fx veteran Robbie Drake) with a genuinely nightmarish glee.
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