If I had to consider this movie anything, I would consider it the precursor (or inspiration) for Orphan. It has that same feel of mentally disturbed children and always that one person who’s never believed by anyone. You bring together two ridiculously good child star actors and you have to expect some sparks to fly on camera. At times
you even feel like they’re competing for who’s a better child actor. But at some point, this movie falls flat.
So we begin with Mark (Elijah Wood). His mother has died and he’s taking it pretty hard. His dad (David Morse) has one last business venture to undertake, and then he and Mark will be set for the rest of their lives. In two weeks they can be together again. But not before Mark stays with his dad’s brother. Susan (Wendy Crewson) and Wallace (Daniel Hugh Kelly) are nice parents and all with two wonderful children. Henry (Macaulay Culkin) and Connie (Quinn Kay Culkin) are nice little children. But Henry seems to have a mature and sadistic mean streak in him. And he only shows it to Mark. So it’s up to Mark to prove to Henry’s parents that they are in danger. But Henry’s parents won’t believe him.
This movie has all the same plot points as Orphan. Treehouse, snowy winter home, a baby lost, and add to all that a sadistic child. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were copyright infringement on this at all. But what Oprhan did better than The Good Son is it didn’t have such a ridiculously unbelievable and evil ending. When you see it, you’ll know. That just ruined the entire movie for me. And Roger Ebert can settle down. “No kids should ever see this movie”. Yeah, you’re right, that’s why it’s rated R, stupid.
So set aside the bad ending and the uncomfortable scenes of evilness.
What are you left with? A pretty decent cast, and two child stars that go on to do some great things (I’m hinting at LOTR and Party Monster). Three of the Culkins are featured in this movie, and that ain’t half bad either. There’s really not much else to say, you might just have to check it out for yourself. As far as 90’s movies go, this one is pretty down there. It may be a laugh at times, even. But don’t be expecting anything grand from The Good Son. 5.6 out of 10.