THE FAMILY (2021) Reviews and overview of religious cult movie

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‘Once you believe… you cannot escape’

The Family is a 2021 Canadian horror drama about youngsters living in fear of a religious cult on an isolated rural farm.

Directed by Dan Slater (Ashes; White Night) from a screenplay co-written with Adam Booth. Produced by Adam Booth, Cristian de la Rosa and Dan Slater. Executive produced by Bo Ko and Carlo Liconti.

The West Film-Leader Media co-production stars Nigel Bennett (The Righteous; Prisoner X; Eternal Kiss), Toni Ellwand, Keana Lyn, Yasmin MacKay, Onyx Spark, Jenna Warren and Benjamin Charles Watson.



Frameline Soundcloud podcast review

The Family offers solid direction, impressive performances, compelling drama, a nice amount of suspense and mystery, a taut air of foreboding, and wonderful cinematography, and gives viewers plenty to chew on regarding its themes of religious paranoia and oppression, and familial abuse. That obvious comparison with another film — Is it homage? Borrowing an idea and trying to riff on it? — is a real sticking point, though.” Gruesome magazine

“Keeping with the sparse nature are the special effects that are minimal, and a soundtrack that kept the tone going, even if it seemed typical for horrors set in this particular time period. The Family’s success depended so much on its small cast. The whole story revolves around the connections between the family members, so it was good that these all had so much life to them for the most part” The Rotting Zombie

“A pretty strong and disturbing piece of folk horror that really gets under one’s skin as while the cult (including its god) the family belongs to is totally fictional, its brainwashing patterns and hierarchic powerplays […] felt frightfully real. And a very subtle direction that puts atmosphere over spectacle and makes the best of its impressive backdrops…” Search My Trash

The Family is a brutal yet thoughtful film, meticulous in its details and impressive in how it marries atmosphere with tension. It’s also a film that shows that in folk horror, it’s often the folk themselves that are the source of the horror. Very impressive.” Warped Perspective


The Family had its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival, which ran from October 6th to 15th, 2021, in South Korea.

Cast and characters:

Nigel Bennett … Father
Toni Ellwand … Mother
Keana Lyn … Mary
Yasmin MacKay … Evelyn
Onyx Spark … Elijah
Jenna Warren … Abigail
Benjamin Charles Watson … Caleb

Technical details:

110 minutes


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