Written and directed by Richard Powell (Worm, Familiar, Consumption) the 2015 short film Heir from Fatal Pictures is a walk on the dark side of life. This disturbingly dark movie will have its world premiere at Montreal’s FanTasia International Film Festival this summer.
Robert Nolan plays Gordon, the father of Paul who harbors a dark secret side to himself known only to Denis played by Bill Oberst Jr. Nolan (Mourning has Broken, Worm, Familiar) is a Powell regular and worked in several of his films. The actor specializes in bringing a lot to any of the roles he plays. His characters have an impressive depth and he brings an air of believability to the table.
Bill Oberst Jr. (Scary or Die, Take This Lollipop) as Denis is disturbingly twisted and terrifying. Only Oberst can deliver a character that simultaneously comes across as perverse and knowingly evil with such conviction. From the moment we meet the man in a cafe, with the sign behind the counter advertising British meat pies, the viewer knows that this is not a nice chap at all.
The film begins with Gordon sitting in front of his computer. The room is dark and the screen lights up his face as he crops a picture of a boy and woman while flashing back to the day he took their picture. The man is setting up a “play date.” Glancing nervously and guiltily around the room he gets directions.
The man at the other end of the computer conversation is Denis, an old “school” buddy of Gordon’s. This soon reveals itself to be a lie of convenience, when the man jokingly asks the father of Paul about what subjects they “shared.” At first glance it seems that the only thing these two share is a taste for perversion.
“It smells in here,” the boy says as the buzzing of a fly is heard in the background. We are as uneasy as the youngster and Denis begins to become aggressive in his desire. The conflict in Heir appears initially to be the contrast of both men. Gordon who has been, apparently, attempting to control his urges where Denis has allowed himself to go with his base desires and is rotting in his den of evil.
Cinematographer Michael Jari Davidson has the camera crisp and clear until he allows the shadows to fall across Gordon’s face at the appropriate moments. Lighting plays a clear role in the film and is used to emphasis the underlying moods of the players. Davidson continues to go above and beyond, just as he did in Mourning Has Broken.
Oberst Jr and Nolan deliver as different sides of the same coin. The two actors are excellent at what they do and their casting was spot on. Powell is an expert at showing the darker side of the world in unique and disturbing ways. There should be a few gongs for this film in Montreal and both Bill and Robert should walk away with some honors.
This is a brilliantly dark film with a disturbing feeling of depth and one which should prompt some heavy duty discussion after viewing. Prepare to be surprised, disturbed and entertained. Heir will have its world premiere at the Montreal FanTasia International Film Festival this summer.
27 May 2015