The Good Son (1993)

good son poster 1993 movie macaulay culkin
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Macauley & Elijah

Weak plot

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Good Son

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): September 24, 1993

MPAA Rating: R

good son dog scene macaulay culkin

Growl…grrrrr….I’m a bad boy!

Mark Evans (Elijah Wood) has just suffered the loss of his mother.  When his father (David Morse) sends him to stay with his aunt Susan (Wendy Crewson) and uncle Wallace (Daniel Hugh Kelly), Mark finds himself spending time with his cousin Henry (Macaulay Culkin) and his sister Connie (Quinn Culkin).  Mark discovers that there seems to be something wrong with Henry and no one else seems to see it.  Henry’s got a dark and dangerous side, and Mark could be the next victim.

Directed by Joseph Ruben, The Good Son is a horror thriller.  The film was released to largely negative reviews but gained a cult following.

good son mark henry macaulay culkin elijah wood knife

I told you that I get to play Frodo if we play Lord of the Rings!!!

I like movies about evil kids.  As a kid, I realized there were kids that were just bad kids (a bad childhood really didn’t matter if you were a kid).  Movies like The Bad Seed (1956) explored the nature/nurture aspect of horror, but The Good Son kind of skips that aspect of the story for a child who is a sociopath.

The script and the story are all over the place.  The story was originally written by the critically acclaimed author Ian McEwan (Atonement), but then the story went through rewrites and alterations to become a starring vehicle for Macauley Culkin.  It has over-the-top dialogue and moments (like the ending with the mother having to make a cliché choice on a cliff side).  It also has a lot of moments that never resurface (like a multiple car pileup created by a dummy on a highway).

Culkin both makes and breaks the movie.  He was the star, but it feels like Kevin McCallister slightly more evil (and swearing).  Elijah Wood does a better job as the wide-eyed cousin who is being set up by Culkin.  The two do work well together, but it isn’t helped by the script.

good son ending cliff macaulay culkin elijah wood

I wonder who she will choose?

The movie is filled with horror clichés and it is shot that way.  You can see where the movie is leading and a lot of the horror is built on the idea that you can see the set-up but the other characters can’t.  This doesn’t result in many surprises, but it can be fun at points.

The Good Son is a horror thrill ride that isn’t the best, but it is entertaining.  It is a very watchable movie and is best viewed with a group who will have fun with the camp nature of the movie.  I wish that the movie had spent more time exploring the nature/nurture aspect, but the roller coaster ride is just as fun.  With all the remakes out in Hollywood, I could see The Good Son being remade (good or bad) and maybe someone else can see if they think they can fly.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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