Kin: 1980s-esque Sci-Fi Thriller With An Indie Vibe

Milly (Zoe Kravitz, left), Jimmy (Jack Reynor, center) and Eli (Myles Truitt, right) in KIN. Photo Credit: Alan Markfield.

Kin may mix together so many themes throughout the film while remaining a throwback to the 1980s sci-fi thrillers but with an indie film vibe.

Eli (Myles Truitt) is an adopted teenager living with construction supervisor Hal Solinski (Dennis Quaid).  With no mom in the picture, it’s up to Hal to enforce some rules onto his adoptive son.  Unfortunately for Hal, Eli is the type who gets into trouble at school.  While exploring an abandoned building straight out of the Terminator series, Eli sees a strange-looking object and retrieves it.  It’s only upon arriving home in which Eli learns what he is holding.

When Hal’s oldest son, Jimmy (Jack Reynor) comes home from prison, things don’t quite go so well.  He owes money to Taylor (James Franco) for helping him stay alive.  Taylor is out to collect now that Jimmy is free and if it means hurting family, he’ll do it.  A deadly shootout later and Jimmy is on the road with Eli with Tahoe being the destination.  Hell, they pick up Milly (Zoë Kravitz) at a strip club of all places.  Like does she not have a family to worry about?  Are we really to believe that she would just abandon her job like that?  Jimmy is also holding some truths from his adoptive brother that come with bad consequences.

We see these two people, referred to as cleaners in the end credits, going after Eli.  They are straight out of every sci-fi film we’ve ever seen.  They don’t kill anyone but they certainly mean business.  Yet it’s the third act in which we learn who they really are and no surprise, it surely sets up a sequel.  It isn’t just the yells in the audience when it happens but it felt like such a gimmick.  It was an honest surprise and felt like it was only added after their popularity skyrocketed it this year.

For a new actor, Myles Truitt is able to handle his own.  It’s a film about brothers so Jack Reynor feels less like a supporting role and more like a co-lead.

The Twins Baker are first-time feature filmmakers.  There are many seemingly impossible visual effects in the film but they pull them off.  The most important of which deal with the sci-fi rifle that Eli discovers early on.

Sound designer Joseph Fraioli has come up with some very impressive material.  Honestly, some of these sounds remind me of Ben Burtt’s legendary Star Wars work.  These are sounds that can only be designed for inclusion in the sci-fi genre.

The sound design not withstanding, Kin leaves so much potential to be desired in spite of the 1980s vibe.

DIRECTORS:  Jonathan Baker & Josh Baker
SCREENWRITER:  Daniel Casey
CAST:  Jack Reynor, Zoë Kravitz, Carrie Coon, with Dennis Quaid, and James Franco, introducing Myles Truitt

Summit Entertainment will open Kin in theaters on August 31, 2018.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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