Dir. Richard Powell (2015)
A father brings his son to meet one of his online friends.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
As I’ve said a few other places, I had a review for Fatal Pictures’ The Boxcutter Trilogy years ago on my old site and somehow lost it in the changeover. Familiar is the only one that came over, but I love these shorts so damn much that I wanted to make sure to share my thoughts on the other two films in the series as well. Heir is about a father (Robert Nolan) who wants his son (Mateo D’Avino) to meet his friend after sharing pictures of his son online. His friend (Bill Oberst, Jr.) is just about as creepy as possible, and writer/director Richard Powell once again creates a film that makes you about as uncomfortable as possible. The makeup and effects are incredible for a low-budget short, helping to increase the unease to an almost palpable level. By the time we find out what’s going on, there’s no turning back, and there’s definitely a part of us that wished we hadn’t watched.
Fatal Pictures films have a way of taking a horrifying, real subject matter and transforming it into a macabre monster story, an emotional and disturbing look into a damaged psyche. Heir is as disgusting as it is disconcerting, anchored by Nolan in a flawless performance and Bill Oberst, Jr. at his most sinister. There’s something dangerous about these films, something that makes you unsure if you should keep watching yet completely unable to look away. It’s as ominous of a feeling as you’re likely to get from a horror movie, and one that is the bread and butter behind everything that Powell makes. He’s a poor man’s Ari Aster, to be quite honest, one that is well deserving of a bigger budget and a feature-length career. At the same time, I can’t help but feel that he has found so much of a groove making these films that it would be a shame if he were to divert his attentions to something longer just because that’s what you’re “supposed to do.” It’s hard to criticize him, because each film leaves you walking away understanding another piece of his genius.
Heir is not my favorite of his shorts, but lest that sound like criticism it is vitally important to understand that it is an incredible short. It’s dark, unnerving, and diabolically simple, another one that will take root in your brain and stay there for weeks. It’s been a good five years, at least, since I first watched The Boxcutter Trilogy, and I have found them thrusting into my thoughts at the most inopportune times ever since. It is the key for disturbing cinema, showing you something that you can’t expel from your brain no matter how hard you may try. The great thing about Fatal Pictures is that you never want them to leave, because there’s just so much beauty behind the madness. You simply cannot ask for more from a series of shorts, and I’m grateful to have gotten the chance to check them out.
Who this movie is for: Short film fanatics, Disturbing horror lovers, Little League coaches
Bottom line: Excellent as always, Heir delivers a nasty little gut punch that will leave you as uncomfortable as it will enthralled. Stellar work from Richard Powell, who write and directs a movie that you won’t be able to shake. Nolan is incredible and Bill Oberst, Jr. will leave you wanting to wash your hands and your brain. If you have the chance, I highly encourage you to buy the entire Boxcutter Trilogy, which you can pick up here. Huge fan of everything Fatal Pictures has done, and this is one that needs to be seen by more people.