‘KIN’ trailer teases a totally badass hero’s journey we want to see


Myles Truitt in KIN. Courtesy of Summit/ Lionsgate.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

While the process of taking an short feature and broadening the idea into a feature film may not be a new invention, it’s how the filmmaker innovates, fashioning a new garment out of the existing cloth, is what’s appealing. Andres Muschietti’s MAMA, Paul Thomas Anderson’s BOOGIE NIGHTS, Neil Blomkamp’s DISTRICT 9 and, most recently, Xavier Legrande’s CUSTODY have all spun off from their roots as shorts in brilliant ways. Now Jonathan and Josh Baker have done the same with KIN, based on their wildly popular, tremendous short “Bag Man.”

In this sci-fi tinged crime-thriller, Eli (Myles Truitt) and his recently released ex-con brother (Jack Reynor) are forced to go on the run from a vengeful criminal (James Franco) and a squad of “otherworldly soldiers.” Their only weapon is a superhuman (possibly alien?!) death ray gun….and holy effing cripes we’re sold!

KIN features also features the likes of Carrie Coon, Dennis Quaid and Zoë Kravitz.

Not only is the narrative different than what we’re used to seeing, the hero himself is the change we like to see. This is the exact sort of Joseph Campbell-ian teen male hero’s journey movie we could use right now, rather than the bland, boring, white brunette male heroes we’ve been offered lately. This looks totally badass.

If you haven’t yet seen it, here’s the short that started it all – BAG MAN.

This is a pretty excellent tease of what KIN will be able to do in its feature-length form. Though there are some obvious differences with the adaptation, I’m so happy a studio invested in the The Bakers’ vision and strength of story based on their startlingly catchy short film.

KIN opens on August 31. 

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Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, CCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.