“The Good Son” is a 1993 psychological thriller about cousins who start to live together for a few weeks after the passing of the mother of one of them. The film stars two of the hottest young actors of the 90s, with young Elijah Wood and Macaulay Culkin as the cousins, and deals heavily on the idea of good versus evil. In the movie, Mark (Wood’s character) slowly begins to realize the evil and disturbing behavior of his cousin Henry (Macaulay Culkin), and eventually tries to put a stop to his evil ways. The characters are simultaneously dark and innocent, putting the Hollywood spotlight on both child actors as they grace the screen with two solid performances.
After the passing of Mark’s mother, and with his father gone on a business trip for a few weeks, Mark is sent to the home of his aunt and uncle, who have two children, Henry and Connie. As the boys grow closer, Henry begins to show increasing signs of violent and psychopathic behavior as he damages property and takes Mark into dangerous situations. Tensions begin to rise when Mark witnesses Henry killing a dog, and eventually dropping a life-size mannequin into a highway, causing reprehensible damage to at least 10 cars.
Mark remains cautious of Henry and slowly backs away. However, it is when Henry almost makes his sister Connie drown in a frozen lake that Mark decides to fight back. He eventually convinces Henry’s parents that Henry is in fact evil, and it is revealed that Henry also killed his deceased brother years ago. A final scene takes place on a cliff, as Mark attempts to kill his mother, which places her in a situation of having to make a life and death choice.
This movie is definitely a fantastic addition to Macaulay Culkin’s filmography, and it is proven that not only can the child star succeed in comedies, but he is also very adept to handle serious and villainous roles. The audience constantly is in fear of what his character may do next, and yet we are never taken out of his boyish charms.
Elijah Wood makes his impression on audiences as well, and it is a great surprise this is one of his most famous roles before the blockbuster “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Wood plays his character with such toughness and innocence that we feel for him. He is fully capable of taking on the responsibilities of life without his mother and with his absent, hardworking father.
The two young actors shine in this evil versus good movie with Wood portraying a character close to his previous roles but here Culkin is playing totally against type. Macaulay Culkin was 13 and Elijah Wood was 12 at the time of the release and again both did not disappoint.
This film despite the young cast and the presence of Macaulay Culkin who was well known as the troublesome Kevin McAllister in the Home Alone films might be too intense for younger children. The actions of the Culkin character might be too disturbing for younger audiences as the film has tense and scary moments.