At first glance, I thought I knew what I was getting into when I pushed play on Ivan Kavanagh's latest horror entry, Son. Single mom and her child threatened by her secret -- and spooky -- past. Got it. Been there, done that.
Then Son got going, and went places I didn't expect. I was hooked and, at times, horrified for the entire 100-minute ride.
Kavanagh has an impressive talent for playing to our expectations, and then twisting them into something new. He even plays with the is-it-real-or-is-it-all-in-her-head trope, but makes it satisfying. Without giving too much away, this ends with a clear answer to that mystery, and I loved it.
Andi Matichak, who had a great debut in Halloween (2018) does good work here as the single mom. You believe every minute of her performance, and how she reacts to the plight she and her son, also well played by Luke David Blumm, are in. Kavanagh's script asks how far a parent will go to protect their child, and Matichak conveys every ounce of that plight in a most convincing way.
Also good is Emile Hirsch. He's a decent actor, and not the first person you'd expect to play a hardened cop, which he wasn't able to pull off in Force of Nature. But he's 100-percent on point here.
Son looks good, it's got a surprising amount of gore, and is rather unsettling at times. Toss in some decent performances and you've got yourselves a winner. It's the best horror movie of the year so far, and a Good.