Kindred Spirits tells the story of two sisters.
Chloe (Thora Birch) is the older sister. She’s the one who literally raised her younger sister, Sadie (Caitlin Stasey). At one point, in the film, Sadie even says that she thinks of Chloe as being her mom. Chloe got pregnant when she was 17 and had a daughter named Nicole (Sasha Frolova). Just as Sadie considers Chloe to be her mom, she also grew up considering Nicole to be more of a little sister than a niece. Once, Sadie even saved a very young Nicole from getting run over by a car. That’s what a good sister does.
Eventually, Sadie left home. When Kindred Spirits begins, it’s been a while since anyone has heard from Sadie. As for Chloe, it’s been a struggle but she’s built a good home and good life for herself and her daughter. However, Nicole has now reached her own rebellious stage and Chloe’s clumsy attempts to warn her about “making the same mistakes I did” do not make things any less awkward between them. Chloe has stated as secret relationship with her neighbor, Alex (Blue Ruin‘s Macon Blair) but she doesn’t know how Nicole will react.
And I’m sure that many people would dismiss Nicole as just being a ungrateful brat or Chloe as just being an overly protective mother but both Sasha Frolova and Thora Birch do a very good job of bringing some unexpected shading to their roles. The details of Nicole and Chloe’s relationship ring true, everything from the awkward conversations to the rare moments of open closeness.
Suddenly, Sadie shows back up! Both Chloe and Nicole are happy to see her and, when Sadie says that she needs a place to say, they of course invite her to live with them. At first, everything’s perfect but soon, Sadie is showing some signs of instability. She wants to be Chloe’s daughter but, at the same time, she wants to be Nicole’s best friend. She starts dressing like Nicole and even sneaks off to a high school party where she’s thrilled to discover that everyone thinks that she’s still a teenager. Nicole starts to suspect that something might be off about Sadie. Meanwhile, Sadie is busy murdering people. Throats will be slit. Dollhouse furniture will be driven into foreheads. Blood will be spilled.
In fact, quite a lot of blood will be spilled. Though this film aired on the Lifetime Movie Network towards the end of October and it’s plot certainly sounds Lifetime-y, Kindred Spirits only ended up on LMN after traveling the film festival circuit. As such, it’s a bit more graphic than the usual Lifetime film, with close-ups of wounds and plenty of language that ended up getting awkwardly silenced during the film’s airing. The ending is also considerably darker than the average Lifetime film.
I liked Kindred Spirits. The story may be predictable but Lucky McKee directs with a lot energy and brings a lot of atmosphere to the film. Best of all, Birch, Frolova, and especially Stasey all give excellent performances. It’s nice to see a film with not just one but three strong female roles. It’s a pity that a few good people end up dying but …. well, that’s family.