Family (1980) Movie Review
Director: J. M. Logan
Writer: Hudson Shock
Stars: Boyd Kestner, Renee Humphrey and Tanner Richie
DVD Distributor: MVD Visual
Rating: NR- language, violence.
Reviewed by: Char Hardin
Horrorphilia: (1-10): 7
Woman on-the-run, father and son on a road trip and dusty highway have all the makings for either a nightmare or country western song. Beth meets Eldon, a young attractive father traveling with his young son, Cole. Beth has just spent the last dollar, in the stolen handbag she is carrying (not the only thing stolen from the previous owner), when she meets Eldon.
A little conversation ensues and ended abruptly when Beth brushes past Eldon and goes into gas station. Moments later a police officer arrives and Beth can’t get out of the station fast enough. There’s the first of many secrets to unfold in this ninety-five minute thriller. Getting in his vehicle is Eldon and Beth charms her way into a ride with Eldon and Cole.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
While traveling with Eldon and Cole, Beth notices how quiet Cole is and the lack of a father and son communication between a normal parent and child. Something is amiss. It isn’t long before they stop for the night, no motel, nope. They set up a tent and camp out. Eldon is doing and saying all the things a father would say, but the unresponsive Cole is setting Beth on edge.
Later after listening to Eldon tell campfire horror stories, Beth calls it a night and she and Cole get in the tent and Beth learns Cole is really Jeremy and Eldon has kidnapped him and he is not his father! Beth waits until she thinks Eldon is asleep and they try to escape, Cole panics in the darkness and Eldon catches them. He starts a hollering and revealing more about himself and the reason for this road trip and mistakenly calls Beth Helen.
PRISONER OF THE HIGHWAY
Next morning the trio, are back on the road and Eldon stops at a gas station for snacks. Not trusting Beth, he handcuffs Cole and Beth has chance at freedom but remains because of the child. Inside the stations’ store, is a milk carton and Horrorphiliacs…this is where I stop.
FALL TO PIECES
Before picking up Family out of my movies to watch bin, I knew nothing about it. When I pulled it up on Imdb.com, the movie came out in 2006, so this is a re-release out now. I have to say, I was mildly surprised, at how much I liked this movie. The first half of the movie does a good job of building tension between Eldon and Beth. Eldon has a psychotic break in reality and time, and one point doesn’t know who is talking to, then next day, conveniently the episode was forgotten…by him.
The second half of the movie answers a lot of questions about Eldon and what has happened to him, thus making him into what the viewer sees and how much of a monster as seen by Cole/Jeremy. And Beth has a transformation that leads to a crossroads ending. Overall, I would recommend to FAMILY friends, 7 out of 10.