Son Blu-ray Review

Written by R.J. MacReady

Blu-ray released by RLJE Films | Shudder

son poster large

Written and directed by Ivan Kavanagh
2021, 98 Minutes, Not Rated
Released on May 18th, 2021 | Streaming premiere on Shudder on July 8th, 2021

Andi Matichak as Laura
Emile Hirsch as Paul
Luke David Blumm as David
Cranston Johnson as Steve
Blaine Maye as Jimmy Naegle

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There are some movies that you only really need to watch once because their appeal is so rooted in the mystery of what’s going on that once you’ve discovered the answers, there’s no reason to go back. Straight mysteries fall prey to this phenomenon, like an Agatha Christie movie; who needs to watch it again once you know who the killer is? The fun is gone.

This also makes summarizing those movies very difficult, because any small detail could be a piece of the puzzle that I’ve now ruined. Son is this sort of movie, so I’m going to give very little details.

Son opens with a pregnant woman named Laura on the run from someone or something. She’s fleeing in a beat-up station wagon, a driving rain adding to the miserable nature of her predicament. She ends up in labor in her car’s front seat, growling at the baby in her belly that “I don’t want you!”, but when the baby arrives it’s plain that she can’t stop her maternal love.

Flash forward about nine years, where she teaches in a nice town, has a nice house with a nice neighbor, and she adores her son. One night she hears something and thinks her son has gotten up, so she goes to his room and discovers a dozen strangers in her son’s room staring at her.

That’s where the mystery begins, as police come to check it out, headed by Paul (Emile Hirsch; The Autopsy of Jane Doe). That’s all I can give you about the plot, so let’s move into the good and the bad, and whether you should give it your time.

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Writer/director Ivan Kavanagh (The Canal) does a good job building the mystery and the mood with the help of cinematographer Piers McGrail. The acting is strong across the board, but especially from star Andi Matichak (Halloween) as the mother who might be losing her grip on reality. She’s very believable as a desperate woman who will do anything to protect her son.

Emile Hirsch does a good job as the cop who’s concerned and maybe interested romantically in the mom, but his character doesn’t have a ton of depth. Luke David Blumm, as the son, also does a solid job, though the high-water mark for this kind of role still remains Noah Wiseman from The Babadook.

There’s not anything overly scary in the movie, so those looking to get frightened may be let down. As for the mystery, it’s engrossing at first, but once you get an idea of what’s going on, the movie loses some of its steam. They still try to dangle the mystery out there, but it’s pretty obvious by then what’s happening, and so it gets to the point where you’re simply waiting for what you’re pretty sure is coming.

Son is a serviceable little horror flick that’s not overly long. It’s available to stream now and is a decent distraction if you’ve tired of all the other options. It falls squarely in that mothers-trying-to-protect-their-sons niche of horror like The Babadook, so if that’s your thing, check it out.

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Video and Audio:

Son comes to Blu-ray with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio with a very nice picture. No noticeable grain or compression, and the cinematography is very nice.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is crisp and clear, though sometimes uneven so that the voices are low but the music in the next scene is very high. It only happened twice, so it isn’t a big issue.

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Special Features:

While some of the interviews in Interviews with Cast and Crew (5 minutes) are decent, it’s simply too short to convey anything worthwhile. This has become the norm now, where companies put a couple of short extras on a disc just so they can say there are extras.

The offered deleted scenes (6 minutes) aren’t bad as far deleted scenes go, with many of them expanding on Laura’s past.

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Movie: Grade Cover
Video: Grade
Audio: Grade
Features: Grade
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

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R.J. MacReady
Staff Reviewer
RJ MacReady digs horror movies, even though his first memory of horror films is watching the first Friday the 13th movie while a bear mauled his family in the other room. He admits that most of his bio is as fake as his moniker, but witness protection won't let him use his real name.
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