Kaimoni is the Hawaiian word for demon. In The Unfamiliar, the demon’s forehead was inspired by a Tiki Totem and portrayed as the most dangerous of all the mythological creatures.

Concept art for the demon went through multiple revisions, exploring many variations all rooted and inspired by elements of Hawaiian mythology, popular and classical horror. Creating something original, skin-crawling and grounded in familiarity.
“Many faces of malice”

Bringing the Character to Life

Sound designer Michael Medhurst combined the sounds of a parrot in distress and the work of voice artist Anna Wolf to create the Kaimoni’s unique soundscape. Here is an example of the Kaimoni’s raw screech.
In the event that a Kaimoni possesses a human, its sounds become a combination of parrot and the human’s whimpering. Here is an example of what that might sound like.

Did you notice?

There are numerous horror tropes in The Unfamiliar, a few of which are:

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A house divided

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The creation of a daunting background event

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Trapped in containment

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Adult fear

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A creepy basement

The power of the audience’s imagination is used throughout the film to create fear and constantly build suspense. Great attention was given to the detailed creation of the mythological Hawaiian creatures, yet very few of the creatures are revealed to the audience in full.
Some of the horror tropes were used to misguide the audience in The Unfamiliar, which will become more clear upon a second viewing of the film. These include: the haunted house, the creepy kid trope and the séance in the film.
Made with the support of the British Film Institute.