Son (2021) Andi Matichak, Emile Hirsch (Horror Movie Review)

Last Updated on December 28, 2021

PLOT: One random night, A young mother checks in on her son, only to find him surrounded by strangers in his bedroom. Things get even worse when the cops don’t believe her, and he’s somehow contracted a strange illness that’s slowly killing him.

LOWDOWN: Son (WATCH IT HERE) opens on a rainy night as a pregnant Laura (Andi Matichak) runs from a group of men in her beat-up automobile. Once there is enough distance between them, she pulls off to the side of the road and gives birth. We time jump, and now her kiddo David (Luke David Blumm) is around eight years old. No mention of what happened in the past and everyone seems happy and healthy. While checking up on David one night, Laure’s startled to see a group of people surrounding her kid. The police show up yet find no evidence of foul play or that anyone was ever there. What the f*ck, right? Now David has what looks to be flesh-eating bacteria covering his body, and the doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong.

I’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum, but if you’re are intrigued by Son, I’d suggest you give this a watch in the lnk above because the less you know, the better. Director Ivan Kavanagh knocks it out of the park once again. With Never Grow Old and The Canal both being great indie surprises, I’m here to say that Son is another excellent entry from the Irish Stallion (just go with it) Ivan Kavanagh. With the tease from the beginning, we know that something happened to Laura and that whatever it was must be tied to her son’s mysterious illness and the group of people who may or may not exist.

With a relatively small cast, Son relies on only a few to bring this story home. Andi Matichak nails it as the desperate mother whose only goal is to keep her kid safe no matter what it takes. As someone who played a highschooler a few years back in Halloween 2018, Matichak gives it her all as a very believable mom who’s driven to the edge of insanity. There’s a vulnerability with Laura, not quite sure what’s going on, but reluctantly gives into the “thing” that may or may not help her son David. I’ve always liked the midwest charm of Emile Hirsch, and I know he’s a Californian. I don’t care, but he comes across as one of us! Hirsch pulls off the caring and kind cop who starts to fall for Laura even as bodies begin to mysteriously pop up with all fingers pointing towards her. His calm demeanor balances perfectly with Matichak anguished portrayal.

I’ll get this out of the way and admit that you can pretty much piece together this True Detective type of story with things playing out pretty much as you’d expect. Yet, Son still managed to surprise me on more than a few occasions. It had a pair of brass balls when it came to going all in, and even if it can be predictable, most movies would back out before it really gets good. Son doesn’t hesitate here. Man, it’s hard being this coy about a movie, but just go with me here. Dealing with PTSD, childhood trauma, and repressed memories, Son hints at more while playing it straight for the first chunk, only to delve headfirst into the genre. This movie is about the journey of Laura and David to its final bleak destination. It’s a road trip of fear and guilt that works because of Andi Matichak’s soulful performance and a consistent sense of dread.

GORE: Son doesn’t hold back on the gore. I won’t ruin it for you, but this does get pretty damn bloody.

BOTTOM LINE: Son isn’t going to change the genre and tells a somewhat familiar story yet still finds a dark and menacing way to get you invested. Everything hinges on the performances and where things end up, without the need for the common Hollywood cop out. I can attest that Kavanagh nails both.

RLJE Films will release the horror film SON in Theaters, On Demand and Digital on March 5, 2021.

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