Short films are an art form that still does not get the love it deserves. You can often get just as much satisfaction from a 5 or 10 minute film as from a full length film and often the makers of short films have to be much more ingenious, imaginative and resourceful to get their story told with limited funds and limited running time. One of the best short films of the past while to wow me was one called The Last Halloween. And now the makers of that film have returned with another shocker entitled Heir.
Gordon is going on a road trip with his son Paul to meet up with Denis, a man Gordon supposedly knows from college. But little does Paul know his father met Denis online and after discovering they had similar interests, agreed to meet in person. Both Gordon and Denis have a habit, one that is very unusual and not an easy itch to scratch. But this time Gordon may find out more than he bargained for and may be in for a very hard lesson.
Heir is all kinds of wrong in the best possible way. It is a film born of the same dark matter that infests the worlds of Clive Barker, David Cronenberg and H.P. Lovecraft. A bizarre and twisted tale of a father and son, it is also the story of addiction in a strange sort of way. Like other films by these filmmakers, Heir is not spelled out for you. Much of it is open to interpretation. Once your own fears, desires and compulsions are put out into the same space as the story in Heir it becomes something new and personal. I wouldn’t ruin anything for you here but it is a disturbing 15 minute journey that any horror fan should be required to make.
But there are even more reasons to love Heir. First is the acting. Robert Nolan and the always phenomenal Bill Oberst Jr. are so good here. Nolan is the picture of a reluctant man driven by an incomprehensible desire and Oberst Jr. is the ultimate man who has accepted his twisted place in the universe. Both of these men knock it out of the park. Also, Heir is a practical effects lover’s dream. Gooey, slimy, unsettling and outrageously deranged effects live in Heir and they are wonderful. This truly was a throwback to the VHS days of old when we could always count on the talents of directors like Brian Yuzna, Stuart Gordon, John Carpenter and the aforementioned David Cronenberg and their incredible makeup artists to fuel us with fresh nightmares. Take my word for it as a lifelong horror hound, spend 15 minutes with Heir and reopen those old beautiful wounds.