“Kindred Spirits” is not what you’re expecting from Lucky McKee. But if you’re patient, you may really enjoy this slow but beautifully crafted ride.
Lucky McKee has done it again. At the world premiere of his newest thriller Kindred Spirits at Cinepocalypse last weekend, fans were treated to a visceral, slow-burn psychological thriller that is quite unlike the director’s previous body of work.
In the age of mind-bending thrillers such as Ari Aster’s Hereditary and Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Suspiria, horror film buffs are learning to enjoy the anticipation of the scare just as much as the scare itself.
In many ways, Kindred Spirits is more in league with the film noir genre. It gently clasps the hand of predecessor films that are variants on similar themes, such as Single White Female and Gone Girl. McKee fans who are looking for the brutality of The Woman or the dark romance of May might feel somewhat out of place watching this film. It doles out a big ask of audiences to endure its long exposition before getting to what I felt was a rather rewarding payoff toward the film’s third act.
There is a lot to unpack in Kindred Spirits.
But die-hard fans of McKee’s earlier work may end up being on polarizing sides of whether they loved or hated this film when the credits roll.
Kindred Spirits is a tale of three women: Chloe (Thora Birch), Sadie (Caitlin Stasey), and Nicole (Sasha Frolova). It’s about the dynamics that hold together a tumultuous family dynamic and familial secrets with poorly applied tape and glue. Birch’s Chloe is instantly likable as a worn-down, single mother who is trying to navigate her teenage daughter Nicole’s adolescence as best as she can, while trying to keep a relationship with her kindly friend and neighbor, Alex (Macon Blair) a secret.
Sasha Frolova is stunning as whirlwind teen rebel Nicole, whose longing for her beloved aunt Sadie (Stasey) to be an integral part of her life again has disastrous results. Stasey’s performance is worth the price of admission alone, as her poisonous antagonist brings the audi