Dir. Ivan Kavanagh
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Children have always been the most mennacing of monsters. That's not to say they are irredeemable however there is something unworldly about the naivity of youth being corrupted. From THE CHILDREN OF THE CORN to THE OMEN, there's been plenty to scream about when the evil is inside someone that should be so innocent.
SON sees single Mother Laura (Andi Matichak) caring for her son, David (Luke David Blumm) single handed and when she is awakened one night by a group of stranger surrounding her son, their world is turned upside down as something within David is unleashed. Supporting them is Paul (Emile Hirsch) who is determined to help prove that the events that triggered Laura's hysteria actually happened but the closer Paul gets to Laura, the more he learns of her past and current mental state.
The film meanders through a is-it-real-is-it-not tour de force as Laura and David travel cross country to ensure those who think she is suffering from a mental regression don't catch them but as the journey continues, so too does the number of bodies.
Both Matichak and Blumm do well to carry the film through it's many twists and turns which bring a genuine shiver to audiences entranced in the drama. Some gruesome deaths are left in the wake of their escape from the authorities however there is motive for what would be sheer madness out of context. Matichak does really well to balance the sane and questionable motives of a mother who will do literally anything for her son and the bond they have only grows throughout the film. Blending elements of RAW, THE BABADOOK and LET ME IN to great effect, Kavanagh's middle America has never felt so disturbing. The heartfelt relationship between the two leads is mesmerising and despite the supernatural undertones of the movie, makes every breathe and action believable.
There's a constant sense of paranoia and questioning of the truth, second guessing whether the drama on screen is happening because of supernatural beings or the trauma of Laura, however the film comes round with a satisfactory conclusion that packs a punch. SON is certainly a film that needs full attention but it's well earned as a desperate mother who will do anything for her son becomes terrifying and traumatic until the very end.