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HORROR

Son (2021) | Film Review

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Son opens with a really strong scene that immediately grabs your attention, in fact it demands your attention. We see Laura (Halloween’s Andi Matichak) driving frantically away from something. We don’t quite know what she’s running from but against the heavy downpour of rain and the empty streets we see Laura giving birth in her car. The film then flashes forward a few years and picks up with Laura’s son now a young child. This bleak, dreary opening sets the film up really well but unfortunately Son doesn’t quite manage to reach this level of fear again until towards the end of the film.

After the opening scene the film picks up with Laura’s son David now eight years old and one night a mysterious group of people break into their house in an attempt to kidnap him. Laura runs to call the police and to get help from their neighbour but once the police arrive they find no sign of forced entry or of anyone else ever having been in the house. And thus the creepy atmosphere of the film starts to build as we begin to realise that something’s not quite right with David or Laura. Or both of them. Nonetheless, the detective played by Emile Hirsch (The Autopsy of Jane Doe) believes Laura and shows some sympathy towards her.

Not long later, David starts to get very sick and he starts throwing up blood so Laura takes him to the hospital and just as you might expect in a horror film like this, the doctors don’t quite know what’s wrong with David. All this mystery building up and the atmosphere carries a sense of foreboding but there is always this sense of familiarity and of feeling like you know where the film is going to get to by the end of it which does take away from the fearful feeling that the filmmakers would want you to have.

It’s not just David that’s not well either as Laura is afflicted with horrific nightmares and dreams about the cult that she escaped from before David was born. Laura fears that the hospital staff are a part of this cult too and so she takes David and the two go on the run in search of safety. The two are on their own now as David becomes increasingly ill, suffering from psychosis and convulsions and Laura starts to do whatever she can to protect her son.

Now that the two are on the run from the police and trying to get to safety, again, it has that sense of familiarity and despite the film’s potential, the problem is you know exactly where the film’s going and the ending feels very predictable. There are some strong ideas in there and there are definitely some gnarly scenes too to really put you at unease but ultimately it doesn’t feel particularly fresh or new.

There’s enough gore and thrills in Son to keep you entertained and Andi Matichak and Luke David Blumm both give excellent performances, which elevates the film, and is particularly praiseworthy for such a young actor. But despite a few very tense and chilling scenes, overall there’s nothing too daunting.

★★★☆☆

Son is streaming exclusively on Shudder now.

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HORROR

The Exorcism | Official Trailer

A troubled actor begins to unravel while shooting a horror film. His estranged daughter wonders if he’s slipping back into his past addictions or if there’s something more sinister at play.

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Genre:

Horror, Thriller

Release Date:

June 7, 2024

Director:

Joshua John Miller

Cast:

Russell Crowe, Sam Worthington, Samantha Mathis

Plot Summary:

A troubled actor begins to unravel while shooting a horror film. His estranged daughter wonders if he’s slipping back into his past addictions or if there’s something more sinister at play.

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HORROR

Trap | Official Trailer

A father and teen daughter attend a pop concert, where they realize they’re at the center of a dark and sinister event.

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Genre:

Crime, Horror, Mystery

Release Date:

August 9, 2024

Director:

M. Night Shyamalan

Cast:

Josh Hartnett, Hayley Mills, Marnie McPhail

Plot Summary:

A father and teen daughter attend a pop concert, where they realize they’re at the center of a dark and sinister event.

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HORROR

Speak No Evil | Official Trailer

A family invited to spend a weekend in an idyllic country house, goes from a dream vacation to a psychological nightmare.

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Speak no Evil [credit: Universal Pictures]

Genre:

Drama, Horror, Thriller

Release Date:

September 13, 2024

Director:

James Watkins

Cast:

James McAvoy, Aisling Franciosi, Dan Hough

Plot Summary:

A family invited to spend a weekend in an idyllic country house, goes from a dream vacation to a psychological nightmare.

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