David: Welcome to Halloween Month here at DoubleFeaturePreachers.com! We are going to start off this month strong with a Horror Film from Fatal Pictures called Heir. It’s a horror short. I think instead of ruining it with my own thoughts (I’ll obviously do that in a bit), I’ll let the director of Heir, Richard Powell, say it, “Anytime I’ve been asked to describe Heir, I reply with a simple elevator pitch, ‘They say that anyone who abuses a child is a monster, well what if they really were monsters?’”
I’d also like to give you some links to Heir’s IMDB page, and personally thank Producer Zach Green for reaching out to DoubleFeaturePreachers.com. Please continue to tell your friends, as we are always willing to review independent films of all types.
Well, Shannon, I’ll let you start. What were your initial thoughts on Heir?
Shannon: Well, first off, I did not read anything about this short film prior to watching. So after watching it all the way through, I was a little confused as to what was going on. I was under the impression that this would be a typical horror film, which I think is why I was mostly confused. I was able to pick up on the whole child abuse thing, but had to really think about the overall story. Once doing so, and talking with David “off the record” about what he knew, I really like what the director and producer did on this film. Powell says it perfectly, and the portrayal of the monsters (both literal and figuratively) were done quite well in my opinion. David, what did you think of the film overall, meaning the story-line and how it encompassed child abuse in today’s society?
internet society, where there are hidden pages and incognito viewing, and dark corners of the internet where even darker monsters prowl. Secondly, I think it’s economical. I got all the relevant facts from a few second clip.
There were two things about this movie that really stuck out for me Shannon. The first was the acting. There are really only three main people in those movie: the father Gordon (Robert Nolan), the son Paul (played by Mateo D’Avino), and Denis (played by Bill Oberst Jr.). Let me first highlight Denis… who frankly scared the pants off me. There is just an aura of wrongness surrounding his character and when the creature effects begin, he gets even more creepy, bringing his characters face to the height of disgusting ecstasy.
Robert Nolan gives a much more understated performance, but I would argue that his performance is what truly carries the short. You can see the struggle on his face as he tries to sort out the feelings and the transformation that is occurring within him. It’s a testament to his ability as an actor that you actually feel a bit sorry for him, despite the fact that he has led his son into this situation.
Shannon, what did you think of the actors?
Shannon: I would say that I definitely agree with everything you just said. Denis scared the hell out of me, just with his demeanor and the way that he speaks. I think the creepiest part is how he kept calling Gordon “Dad,” the way he gets the son alone, and the way that he tries and tries to convince Gordon to “come over to the darkside.” I thought that he played his role well. I can definitely see the struggles that Gordon is going through as the film progresses and I agree with you that his performance really cares the short film.
Alongside the acting, I felt like the effects were great in this film. The goo that is coming out of his hand is completely repulsive… probably shouldn’t have watched this during my lunch break? Especially the part that it is literally spraying out of his palm. I liked the effects of Denis’ transformation, though that too is completely repulsive as well. So overall, they did an excellent job with everything. What did you think?
David: I’m glad you talked about the effects, since that was the second thing I loved about the film. As I’ve stated before, I’m a huge fan of practical effects, particularly in the horror genre. Rarely with digital effects do you truly get the same level of believability. I think this movie perfectly illustrates that. From the tentacles that spring from Denis to the white pus-like (or other substance that could be taking this movie much, much darker) substance that erupts from Gordon’s hand, it’s clear that the directors, producers, and actors are a big fan of this type of effect as well. It’s good to see someone carrying the torch onward, as many of the big screen movies we watch are CGI’ed to the point of insanity.
Moving onward, I would say there was really only one small piece of the movie I didn’t enjoy, and that was the final monster reveal of Denis’s entire transformation. Some of it was simply personal - I didn’t find the monster as convincing as I had a lot of the other effects. Mainly though, it was the fact that I didn’t see this part as essential. It could have been done in a different way (maybe by allowing Bill Oberst Jr. to continue owning the material), or it didn’t necessarily need to be there. It took away some of Nolan’s performance in the final scene, in what is truly a very powerful acting performance. Shannon, did you like this final reveal? Is my dislike unjustified?
Shannon: Personally, I thought his full monster form was just as terrifying as the rest of him. I can kind of see what you mean about it not needing to be there, but I liked that it was. As we talked about (off record) the metamorphosis of Denis, I feel like it was good to see a representation of the full monster that he became, along with allowing Gordon to see what would ultimately be his fate if he succumbs to his desires.
Well, I’m not sure what else I want to touch on about this short film, so I will end with a rating of “Liked It.” I thought the acting, effects, and overall storyline were great and would love to see more from Fatal Pictures in the future. Thank you for the opportunity to watch this! David, what are you rating and final thoughts on Heir?
David: Allow me to reiterate just how much I enjoyed this film. I thought it was done very well and thoroughly enjoyed the acting, the effects, and the story overall. Not only am I excited to watch more Fatal Pictures in the future, but I’m also going to attempt to seek out some other works. I know that Nolan is a frequent collaborator (I may have read that he has been in the previous two films by this writer/director combo), and I look forward to watching more of Oberst Jr. as well.
Once more, allow me to thank Producer Zach Green for reaching out to us for this movie. We really appreciate it, and hope you tell any friends you have about the site, along with telling people to send in their own suggestions for movies they may have made, seen, or loved.
Finally, let’s get to the rating. I’m going to give Heir an “A-” because it thoroughly accomplished every goal that I thought it set for itself. Tune in to the rest of Halloween Horror month here at DFP!
For more on this short film check out IMDB!
David and Shannon write about movies.