“The Ties The Bind Are Nurtured By Blood”
Jack Bryan‘s The Living is a pretty impressive thriller that revolves around a man, Teddy (a virtually unrecognizable Fran Kranz, Cabin in The Woods) who after a night of drinking beats his wife, Molly (Jocelin Donahue).
He had no memory of it happening, but Molly’s bruised and bloody face speaks for itself.
It’s not said explicitly, but it seems that this was not the first time that he had hit his wife. So her mother, Angela (Joelle Carter), and brother, Gordon (Kenny Wormald), are fed-up, and respond in desperate and unexpected ways, setting in motions events that move rapidly beyond their control.
What works especially well is that the biggest names are Kranz (who’s nothing like the character he plays in Woods) and Chris Mulkey, neither of whom are exactly household names. This is a benefit because, in such a small, almost intimate story there aren’t any stars big enough to pull viewers out of the movie, would which would probably be the case if we were watching Tom Cruise or Charlize Theron, for example.
If you’re looking for a taut, well-acted thriller you could certainly do worse than The Living.
The Living is currently on Netflix, because some people will do anything for family.