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Brian O'Malley's follow up to Let Us Prey is a gothic thriller about a crumbling mansion and the twins who inhabit it but The Lodgers (trailer) is also a story about family legacies and living with the sins, perceived or otherwise, of family.

In celebration of the movie's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival today, we thought we'd look back at some of our favourite movies about family, most of them dysfunctional, and how the members of those families either dealt with or tried to escape their history.

The list is alphabetical.

Capturing the Friedmans

Talk about truth being stranger than fiction. Andrew Jarecki's documentary, a project that started as a short film about child entertainers turned into one of the strangest and also one of the most engaging movies about a family - in this case a family living with the sin of child pornography. It's a fascinating, and sometimes infuriating, watch.

The Celebration

The movie that landed Thomas Vinterberg on the international movie scene also happens to be one of, if not the best, entries into the Dogma 95 movement. It also happens to be one of the most insightful movies about family dynamics not to mention the epitome of what happens when families open up about family secrets. Things get... uncomfortable.


When it comes to movies about families things don't get much more dysfunctional than Yorgos Lanthimos' bizarre and wholly original sophomore effort (review) in which a mother and father keep their children so divided from the outside world that the world they inhabit feels completely removed from reality. Craziness ensues!

A Tale of Two Sisters

Perhaps the closest thematic title to The Lodgers, Kim Jee-woon's take on a traditional Korean folktale sees a young woman recently released from a mental institution return home with her sister only to have to face the ghosts of the past and the drama that unfolded with her stepmother.

This is still one of my favourite movies about hauntings and ranks in my top 10 film festival viewing experiences.

There Will Be Blood

Talk about a pained father/son relationship and not living up to expectations. Daniel Plainview is, easily, one of the harshest fathers captured on film and his son's rebellion is not wholly surprising. Paul Thomas Anderson's movie (review) is about much more than that - it's also a story about greed, religion and a history lesson on the early days of oil prospecting. And that milkshake scene is classic.

Do you have a favourite movie about family and legacies? Leave your picks in the comments and keep your eyes peeled for The Lodgers which will be making its debut at TIFF today.

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