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Home Entertainment: ‘Son’ digital review

On digital and on demand from 5th March.

Opening on a stormy night, Son joins a distressed young woman, Laura (Andi Matichak), as she gives birth on the side of the road. Jumping forward a number of years, Laura’s son David (Luke David Blumm) is now eight years old. Life is going steady until Laura walks into David’s room one night to find her son surrounded by strange people. The police struggle to find evidence of Laura’s claim, but shortly afterwards, David falls horribly sick. With the medical professionals unable to diagnose exactly what is wrong with him, Laura begins to explore her own troubled past in the hopes of finding a cure. As David’s condition worsens, Laura is pushed to the limits and she goes to extreme lengths to ensure his recovery. 

Photo courtesy of RLJE Films.

Andi Matichak continues down her horror path as troubled mother Laura. It’s a vastly different role to that which we saw her play in 2018’s Halloween, but one that she portrays well. Much older than her Halloween counterpart, Laura allows Matichak to show her more mature side and taps into her maternal instincts perfectly. It’s an arduously emotionally driven performance, with the range going from happy-go-lucky, to broken husk, ferocious lioness, seductress, and borderline unstable. With so many nuances to the role, it takes a special actor and Matichak is perfect. As good as Matichak is in the role, in order for Son to fully work, she needs a strong child actor in the role of David; luckily, she and Luke David Blumm are a match made in Heaven, or should that be Hell?  Child actors in horror movies are often put through the wringer and here is no exception. Luke David Blumm has some intensely dark moments, as well as his performance requiring a great deal of physicality. Blumm handles all with a maturity far beyond his young years and demonstrates a willingness and aptitude to hone his craft.  

Also continuing his descent into the macabre is Emile Hirsch. His journey began in the criminally underseen Autopsy of Jane Doe, and he has picked up some very intriguing genre projects since. Son marks another clever choice from Hirsch. Here he plays Paul, one of the detectives covering Laura’s home invasion. Although only a supporting / peripheral character, there is more to him that initially meets the eye. Hirsch plays this ambiguity relatively straight, leaving the viewer guessing exactly how he may, or may not, connect into events. 

Photo courtesy of RLJE Films.

Narratively, writer and director Ivan Kavanagh sticks closely to expected plot points, though does occasionally subvert expectations. It is in these moments that Son is at its strongest, Kavanagh never quite fully revealing his hand until the closing moments. What presents itself as a fairly typical genre tale begins to mix in elements of Rosemary’s Baby, Hereditary, The Babadook, and Insidious, exploring themes of trauma, PTSD, and mental illness in some compelling ways. As the plot slowly twists and turns, so too do the tone and visual styles. Tonally the film juggles horrific body horror, uncomfortable possession, creepy evil cult, and stoic sombreness, whilst the visuals shift between neon-lit car parks and autumnal forest-like hues. By presenting his story in such a perpetually shifting manner, Kavanagh enables Son to rise above becoming yet another example of bland genre fodder.  

With three very committed and compelling performances, Son instantly captures the viewer’s attention and takes them on an emotionally gruelling journey through some rather bleak topics. Playing around with themes of trauma and mental illness, Son explores some interesting ideas within the setting of a fairly typical genre story, managing to elevate the film above some of its blander peers. 

RLJE Films will release the horror Son in Theaters and on Digital and On Demand on 5th March 2021.


Kat Hughes



With echoes of Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby and The Babadook, Son is a forever twisting tale of terror and trauma, featuring some excellent performances across the board. 



Kat Hughes is a UK born film critic and interviewer who has a passion for horror films. An editor for THN, Kat is also a Rotten Tomatoes Approved Critic. She has bylines with Ghouls Magazine, Arrow Video, Film Stories, Certified Forgotten and FILMHOUNDS and has had essays published in home entertainment releases by Vinegar Syndrome and Second Sight. When not writing about horror, Kat hosts micro podcast Movies with Mummy along with her five-year-old daughter.


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