Review: Son (2021)
The horrors of being a parent have been shown in horror films throughout the years and Ivan Kavanaugh’s “Son” is the newest film to showcase the great lengths a parent will go through to save their child, even if the child does seem to be a demon. Andi Matichak plays a mother, Laura, whose son, Paul, falls ill after an unexplained break in by a cult from Laura’s past. Laura enlists the help of a police detective, Paul, to protect her and her son from this cult that seemingly vanished without a trace.
The overarching narrative here is pretty basic and the cyclical illness of the son and his miraculous recoveries is filled with a lot of great body horror sequences that see the son seemingly on his deathbed while doctors scramble to find the cause and cure him and violence that is sure to shock audiences. There’s a good bit of tension to these sequences and as his condition seemingly worsens as the movie goes on. Laura, running out of time to save her son, takes him on the road to try and confront the cult from her past that’s seemingly behind all of this.
They’re pursued by Paul who had formed a bond with Laura and David before they went on the run. Paul’s involvement in the film is full of a few questionable decisions as he seemingly grows attached to the pair very quickly and even his partner questions his intentions for pursuing them. Them being on the road and being out of their element adds a danger to each encounter they come across and there’s a particularly effective sequence involving a pimp at a motel that effectively brought all of these elements together and left me on the edge of my seat.
Ivan Kavanaugh’s direction handles the twists and turns effectively, but it’s Andi Matichak’s performance that really holds the entire movie together. She’s willing to do anything to save her son even if it means putting herself or people around her in danger and Andi’s performance really makes you feel for this character even as she’s doing things that are immoral. The mother/son bond is the glue that holds the movie together and I think that for the most part it’s done well even if some of the twists in the third act didn’t quite land as well as I’d hoped.
“Son” is an effective cult thriller anchored by solid performances, some shocking sequences, and a powerful maternal bond that might not have quite stuck the landing for me but it’s nevertheless an effective film that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It’s a movie that is more unsettling than it is scary, but it’s definitely not short on twists and turns that kept me guessing the whole way through. For fans of seemingly possessed children, mothers who will stop at nothing to save them, and mysterious cults that seemingly have control over both of their lives, I recommend this movie.3.5 out of 5.0 stars