FILM: Heir

Certificate: Unrated
Running Time: 14 mins
Director: Richard Powell
Starring: Robert Nolan, Bill Oberst Jr., Ken Austen, Mateo D'Avino, Stacy Campbell
Genre: Short, Drama, Horror
Country: Canada
D'you know what they call a diner scene in Paris?
Having made friends online with a gent of “particular interests”, a father and son head across country to explore the darkest side of human desire.  Heir comes out of the thriving Canadian independent cinema market.  Director Richard Powell’s pedigree, has been well established with his previous offers Worm and Familiar, and yet with Heir he’s able to craft a tale that feels universally intimate.

All too often Horror cinema has been given a bad rap for the gratuitous gore-for-gore’s-sake approach, Human Centipede 3 [review here] I’m looking at you but Powell’s horror is a horror of psychology.  It’s a horror that plants a seed in the imagination first, allowing it to spread, virus-like, to the eyes before it runs rampant across the screen.  Visually Heir has an almost Lovecraftian feel to it, without it actually being Lovecraftian.  What do I mean by this?  There is a considered, methodical pace to proceedings that reside in era of classic horror storytelling.  It stems, yes, from the material but also from the confidence of the film-maker to “let the script tell the story”.  It really is refreshing to be this traditional.
"They said I was crazy to marry a pillow.  They said we'd never last.  Well
who's crazy now, huh?!"
Then you have the storyline itself.  Few films are brave enough to tackle a subject like paedophilia, even fewer short films as it’s not a subject you can simply leap in and out from; yet Powell’s film does it in such a way that the bulk of the message is “encoded” in the mise-en-shot.  In an instant you’re able to draw down content that facilitates debate.  Nature vs nurture, the idea that we’re born the way we are, regardless of whether that is good or bad; even the idea that paedophiles who prey on their own kin, are a different species.  A corrupted variant in evolution.

There are not enough words to truly sum up the majesty that is Heir.  Though it plays for 14 minutes it’ll run on a loop in the darkest regions of your mind for days, and days.


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