Heir

I wonder if Bill Oberst (Betrothed) would mind if I just followed his movies around and reviewed them all? That would keep me pretty busy, though it might also keep me from getting a good night’s sleep ever again. Granted, I scare easily — and yes, it is strange that I review so many horror movies despite that fact — but it’s also his fault because he’s so good at being creepy.


I wonder if Bill Oberst (Betrothed) would mind if I just followed his movies around and reviewed them all? That would keep me pretty busy, though it might also keep me from getting a good night’s sleep ever again. Granted, I scare easily — and yes, it is strange that I review so many horror movies despite that fact — but it’s also his fault because he’s so good at being creepy.

Pretty much everyone and everything in Heir is creepy, though. Robert Nolan plays Gordon, who you can tell instantly is haunted by something dark in his past, and in himself. He’s taking his son, Paul (Mateo D’Avino), along for a nice road trip as he visits an old “college friend”, Denis (Bill Oberst Jr.), and if you believe for a second that they’re college buddies I have a lovely little bridge I’m looking to sell. Paul is oblivious, but it’s very clear what Denis has in mind.

And while Robert is horrified by his darkness and tries to turn away from it, Denis revels in it. He seems faintly amused by Robert and his reluctance and enjoys throwing several barbed comments into the conversation. This conversation is also creepy, by the way, even when they’re sitting in a perfectly ordinary looking diner full of regular people having breakfast. But just as you get used to one sort of monster, the film throws another kind at you and everything turns surreal on top of being spooky.

There’s none of that sissy CGI stuff here; this is all old-school horror, and it works thanks to two great performances from Nolan and Oberst. It teases more than tells you anything, but as I keep trying to point out, it’s always better to do that when you’re trying to scare people. I’ll give it a solid four out of five. I felt pretty unclean afterwards, but that’s exactly what the filmmakers wanted.