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I have been thinking a lot about family lately.  It’s possible that the recent death of my grandmother at 101 years old is a major factor in that.  The topic of family being so prevalent in my mind has also made me take stock of the fact that the majority of my family live in the southern most states of America, far from me and my New England homestead. With so much of my reflection being so family-centric it made the opportunity to review a film like INHERITANCE that more enticing. I have already found myself examining how factors like time and distance can really distort our definition and understanding of what the meaning of family truly is, so I was prepared and eager to dive into this film.

INHERITANCE, the feature film debut of TYLER SAVAGE, is aptly titled, not only for it’s plot and story but also for it’s style and production. Working with TERRENCE MALICK for the last few of his films, Savage has obviously kept his eyes and mind fully open. The pacing and tone of this thriller is spot on and the use of imagery and sound works almost with Lynch-Level eeriness. Speaking of sound, the sound designer, also a long time Malick collaborator, WILL PATTERSON, has really out done himself. The level of quality in the sound choices is way above this films pay grade. The way Patterson twists the sound around the throat of the visual edit is very rewarding and does what any good sound design should do, aid and add to the story telling, and it does.

Visually this film works the way a thriller should be seen, dark but clear and focused, with just the right kind of camera movement to increase the tension happening inside the frame. All was done beautifully by Cinematographer, DREW DANIELS, (IT COMES AT NIGHT)  and Editor,  SHANE HAZEN( TO THE WONDER)
Thrillers hinge a lot of their success on tone and texture but they also need actors in the frame that understand and can stay consistent in their delivery. INHERITANCE has just that in it’s two leads as well as it’s group of very strong supporting cast. CHASE JOLIET plays the role of Ryan, who is struggling with unanswered questions when his biological father leaves him an expensive ocean side home. The only person Ryan has to help him while he makes the difficult decision of keeping or selling the home is his newly pregnant fiancé, Isi, played with charming intensity by SARA MONTEZ, who I look forward to seeing in DAVID LEE FISHER‘S remake of NOSFERATU later this year. The neighbors and towns folk of the sleepy little ocean side hamlet are played with effortless precision by, DREW POWELL, (STRAW DOGS) KRISHA FAIRCHILD, (HIGHWAY, KILLING OF JOHN LENNON) and DALE DICKEY (HELL OR HIGH WATER, TRUE BLOOD) respectively.
All and all INHERITANCE has, well, inherited a lot from TERRENCE MALICK, literally and figuratively, and that is a complement. It is very hard to experience a TERRENCE MALICK film and not witness their thickness of texture, tone and tension and I believe that TYLER SAVAGE has made a thriller that has all of that and then some. I only wish that these MALICK-influenced-minds had more money to put towards this film.  I really think it would have been spent well and well deserved.
So the moral of the story is this… If you ever find yourself on a MALICK set and you have some down time, use it wisely. Talk to all of the players, and when it comes time to make your first feature length film, write a sharp script and call all of those family members to help you get it made. In this case, it produced a very strong debut film. I believe TYLER SAVAGE has a lot more MALICK magic up his sleeve so keep your eye on him and also go watch INHERITANCE, you won’t regret it.
INHERITANCE is out on Digital HD today!
“INHERITANCE is a tense family affair”
3.5 Tombstones out of 5
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Christopher Grace

Christopher Grace

Christopher D. Grace is a Writer/Producer/Director And now Reviewer Of films who grew up in a suburb of Louisville Ky and spent most of his youth and adult life making, watching, and admiring movies. He now lives in New England and Movies still take up most of his time one way or another.

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