Unlike many religious films, “Generational Sins” isn’t afraid to actually show its characters sinning — even if those transgressions are simply PG-13 cursing with occasional shouts at the sky. This drama from writer/director Spencer T. Folmar grapples with questions of faith in a not entirely pious way, and it’s more reflective of the human experience than many of its pure-hearted brethren. However, it undercuts that authenticity by lacking strong character motivations and details that would make this story of redemption feel truer.
Drew (Daniel MacPherson) promises his dying mother that he will take his brother Will (co-writer Dax Spanogle) to see their childhood home, where their father was an abusive alcoholic. Their road trip finds the brothers at odds, and once they arrive they discover that both much and little have changed about the small town they left decades earlier.
Though only 90 minutes, “Generational Sins” creeps by, partially due to the director’s love of slo-mo, which rivals Zach Snyder’s affection for the technique. There are some odd camera and music choices as well, matched by character decisions that don’t feel real or earned. “Generational Sins” does deserve praise for avoiding the saccharine tone that plagues so many other films about faith, though its script may fail to convert nonbelievers.
Rating: PG-13, for mature thematic material involving violence and alcohol abuse, and for some language and suggestive content
Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Playing: AMC Rolling Hills, Torrance