Tiki Totem

The Tiki Totem in The Unfamiliar was uniquely created for the film and is portrayed as a conduit to which the Kahuna (demon) attached itself. This attachment is only clear when you study the actual Tiki Totem in the film and realise that its “upper head” has the exact same features as the Kahuna’s forehead.  The idea that the Hawaiian Tiki Totem may be evil is the first piece of the puzzle - that something sinister happened with the Cormacks’ previous family holiday in Hawaii.
In the Hawaiian cultural context, Tiki Totem statues often represent the Tiki gods. Tiki Totem statues with menacing expressions are used in Hawaii to scare away evil spirits. Tiki Totems with more amicable expressions are used in religious ceremonies and believed to bring good luck.
Made with the support of the British Film Institute.