"Listen honey, I don't know who you really are or what you really want but I can refer you to a good therapist who can help you figure it out." Dull supernatural horror.
14 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Family Reunion tells the tale of the Andrews family, Tom (Mel Novak) & his wife Kathy (Pam Phillips), their two children Billy (A.J. Woods) & Erin (Kaylin Cool) plus Tom's Father Henry (John Andes) who are all driving to a town called Silversprings on Christmas eve to visit relatives. On the way they decide to stop at a ghost town called Sutterville which by a strange coincidence Tom has had nightmares about every year around Christmas for his whole life, spooky eh? His Father Henry is wary & begs them not to go but Tom's car develops a mind of it's own & takes them there & then breaks down so they can't leave. Meanwhile a man arrested for vagrancy by local police is identified as Clarence McCoughlin (Ken Corey) who supposedly died in Sutterville 40 years ago & seems to have some sort of demonic power. As the Andrews family explore the town a feeling of unease starts to takeover, Clarence escapes jail & heads back to Sutterville for a sinister family reunion...

Written, produced & directed by Michael Hawes I thought Family Reunion was an average sort of supernatural horror that would have been far better as a 30 minutes Tales From the Crypt (1989 - 1996) episode rather than a 85 odd minute feature film. The script is basic & spends more than half it's time just having the Andrews family walk around Sutterville doing nothing in particular. The Satanist worship angle of the story is mostly forgotten & only really comes to the fore during the last 10 minutes when Clarence & the Andrews finally meet, the ending is rather predictable & isn't much of a surprise. It's all rather slow, dull & bland. There's very little horror or exploitation & as a whole Family Reunion isn't that great, I can't really see it appealing to hardcore horror fans as there's very little to it.

Director Hawes does an OK job, some of the horror themed sequences look silly like the initial confrontation with Clarence as lots of smoke rises from the floor & silly blue neon lighting suddenly appears while other's are nicely done like some of the scenes of the Andrews exploring the deserted town. It has a reasonable atmosphere to it but is low on real scares or shocks. Amazingly Family Reunion was cut by 23 seconds here in the UK so maybe I missed something unbelievably nasty although I doubt it, the version I saw was pretty much as dry as a bone except a few splashes of blood, a plate of intestines covered with maggot's & a fairly gory scene when someone is impaled on a wooden stake.

Technically Family Reunion is alright, it's competent enough & generally well made throughout. The acting was OK but nothing special.

Family Reunion is average at best, it was too long & just a bit too dull for it to do anything for me I'm afraid. Maybe worth a watch if your extremely bored but nothing special.
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