More than horror, I think, if there is one genre that has a clear widespread appeal and about just as many takers when it comes to audience numbers, it is the thriller, and let’s face it. We all love being bested at the movies. A thriller with a twist one can see coming from miles away or one that isn’t convincing enough simply won’t stick: it has to be a compelling one all through.
For the average Netflix weekend viewer or the Friday night binger, I thus bring good news in the form of Netflix’s latest, a small Argentine film, ‘The Son’, or ‘El Hijo’, one that I will state in the beginning, you absolutely must catch. I will reserve my detailed take on the film, as always, for the end of the writeup, but the crux of the matter is that ‘The Son’ should surely be up on your list this weekend. If you haven’t already watched it, I suggest you do straightaway. We will still be here with this dialogue when you’re back!
Steering our horses back to the discussion, even something as homogenously accepted as a “thriller” has just infinite subgenres, and after ‘The Son’ or ‘El Hijo’ as it is originally called, I am convinced that the “domestic thriller” clearly has more thrills than even your average, say murder mystery or abduction thriller. The reason? The guise of normalcy. Everything is perfectly shrouded in the garb of everyday domestic life, and yet the atmosphere is anything but: uneasy, eerie and unsettling.
All of this usually manifests through one troubled character, who certainly is aware that there is something terribly wrong with the way things are conspiring. ‘El Hijo’ has all those ingredients, and so much more that it has going for it, all manifested rather artfully. Yet again, it clearly fits within the clear mould of its genre that sees two clear distinctions in the way its endings develop. One that seeks to build and build until either dissipating all that tension by the end, or one that spikes it up for an unclear or shocking conclusion, leaving you to ponder. If you have seen ‘The Son’, you instantly know what category it belongs to. Here, we discuss everything about the movie and more. Read on.
Summary of the Plot
I would not be too wrong in saying that ‘The Son’ is the unfortunate tryst of one man, Lorenzo Roy, an artist with a troubled history of marriage and domestic life with his first wife and two daughters living separately. However, life has barely started looking up for Lorenzo since he is now more involved with his work, and has a second wife that he loves and is trying to have a child with, Sigrid. Right from the opening credits that include graphics that are a confusing mix of overlays of the Fibonacci Spiral, abstract art derived from the same, and microorganisms that resemble the same shape, you realise that you are going to be drawn into a world of conflict and variability.