Inheritance sees Chase Joliet (Lumberjack Man, Krisha) as Ryan, a man working quietly away as a labourer when, out of the blue, a man shows up to say that his biological father has died and left him a beautiful, see-view home, worth a few million dollars.
This comes as a complete surprise to Ryan who thought his biological father had already passed away some 25-years earlier.
Together with his fiancé, Isi, Sara Montez (Pitch (TV), Retrospect (Short)), they head on up to Herald Point to see this amazing house they’ve been left.
As it transpires, it’s as beautiful as you’d expect. A quiet town, few people, worth more than they could earn in a decade. It seems as if all their Christmas’ have come at once.
But all isn’t well at casa-Herald Point. Ryan becomes obsessed with finding out more about his biological father. He is trying to piece together a family mystery, mainly, what happened to his biological mother.
All things point one way, and this drives Ryan to despair, Isi meanwhile has to tip-toe around him, watching her fiancé fall apart but not knowing what to do, in fact she’s sure it’s because they’re expecting their first child.
But there’s more going on, Ryan finding tablets used to treat schizophrenia, a man intent on digging his back lawn up, and echoes of a long-forgotten past, all stalk Ryan in this beautiful, idyllic costal home.
Inheritance is written and directed by Tyler Savage (Nostalgica (Short), Nobody’s Business (Short)) and it’s some feature length debut.
Savage, together with cinematographer Drew Daniels (It Comes At Night, Arizona), make Inheritance look stunning. It’s full of cutaways, flashbacks and shots of breaking waves. Clever camera angles and close-ups leave you feeling as disorientated as Ryan is.
Inheritance is a quiet film, by that I mean there’s little dialogue, and this puts a heavy burden on the lead. Whilst I enjoyed Joliet’s performance, I’m still undecided if it was one of brilliance or one of lackadaisical meandering.
There are scenes in which it’s hard to take your eyes off the performance but there are others that just feel too laid back, too relaxed, when the rest of the movie is building and building, and the tension is winding to breaking point. These ‘relaxed’ scenes can loosen that somewhat.
In Sara Montez however, Savage and co have found a new star. She delights when she’s on screen, playing the other-half trying to make sense of what’s going on with this man she’s known for so long, exceptionally.
Inheritance is a film you can’t take your eyes off for a second. Not just because of how well it’s shot, but also because there’s so much to take in that missing a scene can put you on the back foot for the rest of the movie, some may find it too confusing, and I could understand that.
What Inheritance does have however, is a fantastic soundtrack performed by Mini Mansions. So impressed was I with the soundtrack in fact, that I’m listening to the aforementioned band as I right this review.
Inheritance is a bold feature length debut that will play with your mind and leave you wondering if what you’ve just watched is sun-drenched brilliance, or a sheer act of lunacy.