Review by Camden Ferrell
There have been many films detailing the extent of mother’s love, and Son is the newest film to tackle this idea. The newest film from writer/director Ivan Kavanagh, Son aims to put its own unique spin on this story. The film has an amazing opening act that unfortunately gets severely dragged down by a misguided narrative.
After a group of strangers break into her home, Laura is left distraught at the unexplained and gruesome sickness of her eight-year-old son, David. She decides to leave and find safety for her and her son. She must commit heinous acts to keep him alive, and we learn more about her troubled past. This is a really interesting premise that has a lot of potential for suspense and horror.
The film’s opening scenes are very compelling. They aren’t weakened by any expositional dialogue or sluggish pace. It starts off with a bang, and it’s a pretty shocking and horrific opening act that gets the ball rolling on its ominous story. Unfortunately, this momentum is soon lost in the film.
Despite the inconsistencies in the film, the acting is fairly decent throughout. Andi Matichak leads the film as Laura, and she is one of the stronger aspects of the movie. Her acting is rather engaging throughout, and she serves as a bright spot in otherwise dull final acts. Emile Hirsch gives a fairly decent supporting performance even if he isn’t utilized nearly enough.
After it’s great opening, the film starts making narrative turns that don’t make too much sense, and they don’t do much to subvert expectations. These moments are predictable and are too tonally different from the film’s beginning scenes. It creates a certain dissonance that brings down the overall quality and suspense of the film.
The film also meanders in certain scenes that don’t do much to propel the plot. Once they start slowly revealing Laura’s checkered past, it doesn’t develop those ideas further. It would have been nice to see them explore these themes of trauma and abuse in more than just a handful of scenes.
Despite how slow the final hour can feel, the movie does have its shock factor working in its favor. Some scenes are nauseating and gory, and it helps rejuvenate the mundane writing and execution in these moments throughout the film. This film may appear to serious horror fans, but it doesn’t do much to appeal to an average viewer.
Son is a movie that had a lot working in its favor but unfortunately squandered its potential. It has a great opening and a strong leading performance, but some questionable choices leave this horror film feeling more forgettable than anything else.
Son will be in theaters and VOD March 5.