Inheritance (2017) [Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2017]

After inheriting a very expensive house from the father he thought long dead, Ryan moves in with his girlfriend Isi. While trying to figure things out about his father, Ryan finds more than he bargained for.

Writer/director Tyler Savage creates a film that is very low key and takes its time to develop its characters and story. This leads to a slow burn of a film that is deliberate and works for the story. The film is one of those films that will take too long for some viewers but should delight those loving when films take their time and bring the creep factor in slowly and in small doses. This is not a jump scare type of film, but one that works on the psychological level of things. The story is mainly about Ryan and his quest to understanding why his father left him this how and why he stayed silent and away for so long. This is done through calculated reveals and scenes that are created with a great attention to details.

In the lead part of Ryan is Chase Joliet who has a calm and understated way of working through this story, giving a performance that is interesting to watch and works perfectly for the story. Playing Isi is Sara Montez who brings more emotions to the table. She’s definitely the emotional one of the two and her performance adds reality to the film, a connection to the viewer’s emotions and perception of the film and its story. Her performance grounds the film and the character of Ryan in a way that creates something worth watching out of everything going on here. She’s the one this reviewer connected with and she brings the attention on crucial scenes while also stealing a few scenes. The rest of the cast is also talented with Krisha Fairchild shining in the supporting cast as Bonnie, the neighbor who knows a lot. Her character is one used for exposition in the story yet she feels human and not like a crutch of any kind. She explains a lot of things, tells stories, but she does so in a way that is almost earnest.

A stand-out part of Inheritance is its cinematography with some scenes being downright stunning. Cinematographer Drew Daniels captures scenes at the house and on the beach that look beautiful and pull the viewer into the story, keeping their attention peaked even when the story gets a bit too slow. The images keep the film from being bland in a few spots where the story may be taking too long. The look of the film is almost soothing in parts while it shows locations well. The exterior shots are possibly the best ones; the beach shots have a serenity to them that is a nice change from most films about inheriting a mysterious house. The editing by Shane Hazen plays with these images in a way that brings them to life.

Inheritance is a slow, calculated, and deliberate film that takes its time, a few times too much of it, while building a story that is interesting and finds its footing a bit later in the run time. This means that it’s a film that will test the patience of some while it will keep others glued to their screens. The story is interesting but the pace can be a bit trying at times. This doesn’t mean it’s not a good film, far from it. Inheritance takes its time on purpose. The images shown are beautiful, the characters are given time to be fleshed out, to feel human, so the film can gain from being based in reality before throwing in a few supernatural elements. It’s a horror film, but at its core, it more of a searching for oneself type of film.