The Kindred Standard Edition Blu-ray Review (Synapse Films)

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The Kindred is yet another movie I kept hearing about. People craving for it to be released on a format other than VHS. Once Synapse Films announced the release of The Kindred on Blu-ray, after years of rights issues, people went crazy, and I’ll admit, I couldn’t help but get caught up in the hype. Well, I finally can knock The Kindred off the “Have Not Watched” list, but was it worth the wait?

When my girlfriend arrived home just as The Kindred’s credits were rolling, she asked me what I watched and what it was about. I looked at her and said: “it would take too long to explain The Kindred. In short: half-fish, half-man experiments, backstabbing scientists, and watermelon.”

Sure, that doesn’t help explain anything, but The Kindred is all over the place when it comes to storytelling, or, shall we say lack of storytelling. Nothing is explained in this movie. What’s going on with the basement full of weird mutated people? I don’t know. Why are these experiments being done? Beats me. And why won’t Amanda Pays get soaking wet in her underwear as she did in Leviathan? You are asking the right questions, but sadly I don’t have the answers.

Still, a lacking plot is not something that will ever ruin a movie for me. There are some genuine positives in this film. The special effects for the most part stand out, especially in one scene involving a watermelon and a poor unfortunate woman driving home alone at night (another plot point that comes and goes without any explanation). We get to see a lot of slimy goo in this movie, and I assume that the majority of the budget went to said slimy goo and not to the script. And I do need to praise the film for at least surprising me a few times when it comes to whether or not certain characters would live or die. More often than not, I was wrong, and with that, I say bravo!


Synapse Films released The Kindred previously in a limited edition set that included a steelbook, DVD, CD, booklet, and slipcover (boy are we suckers for slipcovers). This review is for the standard edition. The SE comes with just the movie on Blu-ray, in a plain old normal case, and no reverse sleeve. However, the disc is the same, which means you get solid video quality that keeps a nice consistent film grain, with no damage. Synapse details this as having a new 4K remaster of the unrated version of the film. Audio is presented in a new 5.1 stereo surround mix, with the original 2.0 mono mix included. I had to resort to watching it on my other TV, which didn’t have surround sound (I never said these reviews were professional). I chose the 2.0 mono mix and was pleased with the volume levels.

As mentioned above, the disc is the same as the LE, so you get all the same extra features, with the highlight being the 52-min making of The Kindred. It’s a highly informative feature. Also included is an audio commentary with the directors, some rare on-set footage, a still gallery, storyboards, and trailers. Solid offerings.

Extra Features

  • NEW 4K restoration of the unrated version of the film
  • NEW 5.1 stereo surround sound remix (Original 2.0 mono theatrical mix also included)
  • NEW Audio commentary with directors Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter, moderated by horror journalist Steve Barton
  • NEW Inhuman Experiments – The Making of “The Kindred”, a documentary produced by Red Shirt Pictures, nominated for the 2022 Rondo Award for “Best DVD/Blu-ray Extra” (1080p; 51:16)
  • NEW A special compilation of creature effects artist Michael McCracken, Jr.’s never-before-seen on-set footage (1080i; 17:52)
  • Still gallery (no chapter breaks; 11:08)
  • Original storyboards (no chapter breaks; 3:23)
  • Original theatrical trailer (1080p; 1:58)
  • Original video promotional trailer (1080p; 0:59)
  • TV spots (1080p; 1:07)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing


Do you buy The Kindred? Well, first off, if you have the Limited Edition, there is no need to buy the SE as it’s the same thing, but if you don’t and want to know whether you should go big or stick with the SE, in my useless opinion, I think you would be perfectly happy with the Standard Edition. The movie has issues (it’s also fun), but Synapse Films has delivered yet another solid release, and for fans of schlocky 80s horror, that’s all we want.

The Kindred Standard Edition Blu-ray Review (Synapse Films)
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