It’s high class horror in the Hollywood Hills! Uncork’d Entertainment is releasing The Grand Son on VOD August 14th and DVD on November 6th, and the dark, psychological drama is definitely a film you don’t want to miss if you’re a fan of Psycho and Strangers on a Train. A grizzly murder, twisted siblings, and an incredibly overbearing grandmother makes The Grand Son so bizarre, and so well done that you’d think Ryan Murphy (“American Horror Story,” “Feud”) produced it himself. Of course, this film was written by Abram Makowka and directed by Robert Logevall, with Logevall and James Grave serving as producers. Their story follows a former A-list movie actress now hosting a home shopping show that’s struggling in the ratings. When it becomes clear that her show is about to get the ax, and she and her two grandchildren will – gasp – be forced to sell their mansion, a devilish plot is hatched to ensure the families fortune. What follows next is a crazy cover-up story and a look into the depths the rich and famous will go to keep their stature in tact. With a little bit of American Psycho thrown in for good measure, The Grand Son stars Rhys Wakefield (The Purge), Leslie Ann Warren (Clue, Victor Victoria), Fabianne Therese, Danielle Campbell, Nathan Keyes and Sarah Clarke.
Going into my viewing, I was presumably giving The Grand Son a “pass,” since I really didn’t think this one was going to interest me. Boy, was I wrong! From the very beginning, I was charmed and fell for the allure that this movie has to offer. It’s incredibly, so stylized. I loved the way the film depicts all the problems in the characters’ heads, and how it refuses to let those problems be seen by anyone outside of their family circle. The whole film, in fact, is a contrast in every sense of the word. The family lives in a mansion that’s a frequent tour guide stop, yet they’re struggling to make ends meet. The siblings appear loving and supportive, yet a part of me felt like they could be slightly incestuous and too dependent on one another for their age. Tod (Wakefield) is a walking Abercrombie and Fitch cover model, yet he’s the one pulling all the strings and diving into becoming a psychopath. Hell, even the way the production put The Grand Son together was a marvelous, beautiful contrast – with the picture quality being slightly too dark yet clear and bright all at the same time. Cinematographer Carlo Jelavic and editors Ardnt Peemoeller and Ismail Salahuddin put the finishing touches on a film that transcends normal independent film boarders, and comes off as a piece of artwork instead of a low key horror film.
The whole thing is rather bizarre, but I couldn’t get enough of it. The Grand Son is sinister, erotic and nostalgic; instantly bringing viewers back to the good old days when murder mysteries were all the rage. And still I could find themes in The Grand Son that made it a more wholesome movie. The daughter, Lani (Therese), is dating the house painter and that’s a huge no-no because he’s the help. Love is love, and it goes to show that no matter how much money you have, no matter how much education and political pull you have, a human heart is hard to find and not everyone possesses morals, values, and empathy. Maybe if a little more of that was at work here, the murder and mayhem wouldn’t have taken place! Now, that’s not to say that this movie is fault free. It is low on the horror side (like… barely there) and I’m not sure what time period it takes place in. It’s supposed to be a little dated, so I’m guessing the 1990’s, but this isn’t clarified as far as I can tell. These two complaints aren’t huge, I know, but I have to give some constructive criticism to this review. If these are my only negative comments, well, you know you’re in for a treat!
The Grand Son won’t be the movie for everyone. I highly encourage you to watch the trailer below and decide if it’s something that interests you based off my review and the content you’ve seen. It’s more story than horror, but it’s rich in content. No pun intended. The Grand Son is dramatic, twisted and artistic vision with dark psychological elements nipping at its edges. Glamour, gore and greed collide in one of the most unsuspecting releases of 2018. Find it on VOD August 14th courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment. Final Score: 8 out of 10.