A touching tale of father and son.
Written By: Richard Powell
Directed By: Richard Powell
If nothing else, "Heir" just oozes tension. Sure, we can talk about some of the cool real world effects, and the equally gruesome creature we glance in the later part of the film; but the meat and potatoes of this short is the atmosphere it creates almost immediately. That slow build up as you begin to notice your insides tightening, waiting for the inevitable climax that is the film itself. It's a good feeling for lovers of the genre, and a great one for casuals. In this respect, Richard Powell doesn't disappoint. There's enough tension stuffed into this thirteen minute flick to fill a feature length film! The overall presentation of "Heir" is where it's earned the lions share of it's praise. If experience has taught Mr. Powell one thing, it's atmosphere.
But creating a great mood is not the end all of a film, even a short one. There are certain aspects of this indie flick that I found lacking in depth or polish. "Heir" is the final of three short films; I can't help but wonder if my ignorance of the prior movies has kind of left me in the dark. For me, the lead characters Gordon (Robert Nolan) and Denis (Bill Oberst Jr.) were complete strangers. I had no clue what had happened in the prior films which meant "Heir" had to somehow enlighten me. It didn't, not really. Technically, the story could be considered self contained - but not by much. I understood what was going on, but felt as if I'd stepped into a movie halfway through. As a trilogy, I'm sure everything makes complete sense. As a stand-alone it just doesn't feel quite right. Perhaps combining the three shorts into one feature, separated by chapters would address this situation?
Visually speaking, "Heir" puts on one hell of a spectacle. Every shot pushes the story forward and is handled in a very top-notch way. Audio is crisp and clear and even the colors of the production themselves, seem perfect for nurturing that feeling of dread. Nolan and Oberst Jr. manage to also elevate the creep factor of the film with some excellent acting, and a great overall presence. Aside from a few unusual cuts that centered on scene transitions, the production and post of this film seemed completely fitting and clearly done right. "Heir" does not look cheap, and as I wrote above, completely gets those fear inspired juices flowing.
I totally enjoyed this movie! There's no question about that. The tension level was perfect and everything just seemed to fit. Although seeing the first two films may have made things a little easier to follow; there is no question "Heir" can be watched by itself, and you'll completely understand what's happening onscreen. My biggest complaint was that the film seemed to end so fast. I would have loved an extra scene or two! If you're looking for that creepy, crawly feeling you get whenever you watch a great horror flick, you've found it. "Heir" does the job and does it well.
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