After being away for 10 years, Krisha (Krisha Fairchild) returns home to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. Initially, everything seems picture perfect. The house is filled with the bustle of the holiday and the chatter of an enthusiastic family reunited. However, old wounds quickly start to resurface as Krisha attempts to make amends for her past mistakes. Frustrated by their reluctance to forgive and forget, Krisha struggles to suppress her demons and maintain composure for the sake of herself and loved ones.
Krisha is a hard film to watch. And by that I mean I was physically uncomfortable throughout 80% of the film. Even in normal scenes where Krisha is preparing the thanksgiving meal, the setting is supported by music straight out of a horror film. You can’t help but feel like you’re on pins and needles. Despite it’s extreme discomfort, this bizarre tone has its purpose. Similar to a thriller, the score effectively builds tension and foreshadowing though seemingly ordinary activities.
The issues that the film touches on are also quite troubling. Each relative struggles with their own problem. As the dysfunction unfolds, the interesting camera placements and movements make the viewer feel like they are an additional family member, doomed to endure the inescapable family drama. This observant element creates a very immersive environment for the audience. This not only feels inescapable at times but also adds to the discomfort that permeates the film. As the film continues, the tension crescendos into the emotional and horrific words that cut like the knives in a slasher film.
Krisha is not for everyone. If you find dysfunctional family disputes to be your cup of tea, (a la August Osage County) this is the flick for you. It’s a compelling drama but takes an emotional and physical toll. Some are bound to find it deeply unsettling, especially if it hits too close to home. Audiences are guaranteed to leave feeling wrung out and in need of something lighter to cleanse their pallet afterwards (I needed two episodes of Jane the Virgin to bring me back to normal). I didn’t particularly enjoy watching it but it is a noteworthy film worth checking out.