Son (2021)

A mother will do anything to protect their loved ones and that is definitely the case in this haunting tale from writer-director Ivan Kavanagh.

Laura is a single mother to David and things are going well for them. Laura works as an art teacher at a local school and David is a normal child. However, one night, Laura hears a noise coming from David’s room. When she sees a group of people surrounding him, she panics and calls the police. When Detective Paul Tate investigates, he is convinced whoever is in the house will not return but offers to help Laura any way possible. Shortly after, something strange begins to happen.

David finds himself uncontrollably sick. Upon going to the hospital, tests are run but the doctor cannot find what’s wrong. When he feels better, David finds himself not hungry. Soon enough, Laura discovers something shocking. David is hungry, but for blood. When he kills Laura’s friend, she is shocked and suddenly, Laura finds herself returning to her childhood home. With the help of Mrs. Naegle and her son Jimmy, Laura discovers the shocking truth about her son and what she must do to stop his uncontrollable hunger before the police catch up to them.

This film from writer-director Ivan Kavanagh is very interesting in terms of its storytelling. There are a few twists and turns that delve into the supernatural with a taste of vampirism mixed in. At first look, one would think this is somewhat of a rip-off of The Exorcist, but it goes much more beyond that, all thanks to Kavanagh’s smart script and locales, even when the filmmaker himself was convinced that the shoot was somewhat cursed.

A great cast leads the film with Halloween 2018 star Andi Matichak playing Laura, a normal mom whose son’s mysterious illness leads to some shocking and dark truths about her own childhood. Ones that were repressed until things start going insanely left. Emile Hirsch, who had worked with Kavanagh on the western Never Grow Old, plays a character one is not used to seeing him play. Here, he’s a detective who somewhat falls for the single mom and yet finds his moral compass in question when things go awry.

The highlight of the film is young actor Luke David Blumm, who won the role of the titular “son” after Kavanagh auditioned over five hundred kids. Blumm brings this innocence to the screen as David, who unexpectedly gets ill and then finds himself hungry but not for regular food. This is where things get very crazy. There are two major kill scenes that make the most of its use of practical effects team. And yet, that’s even the half of it. The revelation of everything appears in the second half and answers a lot of questions that end with a jaw-dropping finale.

Son is a well thought out movie that may make you think Exorcist, but it’s anything but and yet it offers so much more, thanks to the cast of the film. Things really pick up in the second half of the film and is well worth waiting until the end.

WFG RATING: B

RLJE Films and Shudder presents a Belladonna Productions in association with Elastic Film and Park Films. Director: Ivan Kavanagh. Producers: AnneMarie Naughton, Louis Tisne, and Rene Bastian. Writer: Ivan Kavanagh. Cinematography: Piers McGrail. Editing: Robin Hill.

Cast: Andi Matichak, Emile Hirsch, Luke David Blumm, Cranston Johnson, Blaine Maye, Kristine Nielsen, J. Robert Spencer, Rocco Sisto, Erin Bradley Dangar, Adam Stephenson.

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