June 25, 2018 Inheritance (Movie Review)
Though known mostly for his short films such as Nostalgica, Nobody’s Business, and The Thing Is, it seems that Tyler Savage has been wanting to take his talents into the full feature realm of film. Debuting on Digital HD Friday, June 15, 2018, Inheritance marks his debut feature film. So, how does he fare?
Written and directed by Savage, the film tries to tell its story of Ryan Bowman (Chase Joliet: It Comes at Night 2017, Here We Are 2017), who inherits a home from his real father, Frank Morse (Tim Abell: Soldier of God 2005, Circus Kane 2017), who put him up for adoption when he was a young boy years ago. From here, Ryan and his fiancee, Isi Rosales (Sara Montez: Criminal Minds series, Pitch series), decide to live in the place for a bit to check it out. While at their new home, it starts to become evident that there is more to this picturesque beach house than it precedes itself to be.
Almost akin to that of the 1980 film The Shining, but with not as great of a delivery or eerie presence, Inheritance appears influenced by the classic flick but also tries to represent it in its own original storytelling. Though the film does not use cliche Horror tropes, like that of monsters or ghosts, it does use some of The Shining’s filming style – using immersive illusions and hallucinations that lead to the psychological demise and undoing of the main protagonist.
That said, the technical work on Inheritance is applauded and does its job in immersing the audience into this quiet beach town of Harbor Point, California. It provides a brilliant contrast between the beautiful outskirts of the beach house and the unhinged nature of what will become of Ryan as the story progresses. Although, what truly hurts the films is lack of dialogue that exist between all the characters. It is much less than what is normally acceptable in modern film, unless of course done in a more creatively matter like 2011’s The Artist.
Because of the limited dialogue, there is limited light shed on Inheritance’s situations, leaving the viewer virtually grasping for straws to obtain some clue as to what is is really happening. Additionally, the film tries to rely on obscurity as a means of a crutch to deliver a suitable environment for these characters to live and breath in. Sadly, it ultimately just creates more questions within every turn in the film’s plot. Furthermore, because of its confusing array of delusions and hallucinations of the past of this house, plus random characters with irrelevant dialogue, for some viewers, it could lead to a complete misunderstanding of what is going on.
Because of the secrets Inheritance tries so hard to keep from the audience, it makes it hard to interpret why the main protagonist is going through the things he is going through in his late father’s home. Even towards the end of the film, some very important questions remain unanswered regarding the nature of some characters involvement. For example, there are some dream-like sequences of his late father and himself, and a cultural significant artifact and why it holds a connection to certain characters in the film that are barely even shown.
Overall, Inheritance is a slow burn and difficult to follow. If there is some explanation, many viewers may not catch it. That in mind, if nothing else, watch Inheritance for its amazingly well done cinematographic work – it is arguably some of the best seen from more current Indie Horror films. Sometimes ambiguity does not work for all Horror mysteries, this was one of them. For these reasons, CrypticRock gives Inheritance a 2.5 out of 5 stars.