Writer and director Tyler Savage’s first full-length feature film “Inheritance” is every adoptive adult’s dream and nightmare come true. Ryan (Chase Joliet) is a hard working carpenter who has a visit from a lawyer explaining that his biological father has passed away and left him a multimillion dollar beach house—completely updated! He and his girlfriend, Isi (Sara Montez), immediately pack their bags to discover and explore what treasures lie ahead. Ryan, a rather reserved and brooding young man, is hesitant about celebrating their good fortune. Perhaps it’s because of his father’s note telling him to sell immediately. Ryan doesn’t heed his father’s warning and through old photos and “visitors,” Ryan finds his ancestral roots. Some things are better left dead and buried.
“Inheritance” is a classic supernatural thriller, incorporating all the aspects of horror filmmaking that make you jump. It’s intense from the beginning—always worrying about what’s around the corner. The suspense builds at the perfect pace as you are drawn into the mystery set before you. While Savage masterfully uses these familiar techniques to set you on edge, there is also something extraordinarily different about this film—it makes you think. Savage leads you down a path with clues to the past as well as the future and you must put this information together to find the truth.
The additional cast of characters including Allie played by the incomparable Ashley Spillers and Bonnie played by the talented Krisha Fairchild, give viewers a few more vital pieces of information to make us question the relationship between nature and nurture and how much really is within our control. Little by little, never revealing too much, you put the pieces together only to be blown away at the end.
Savage does a remarkable job creating an intense supernatural thriller that’s smart. There is a precise balance with suspense, relief, and shockingly horrific (and gruesome) incidents. Directing this talented ensemble cast brings the film to a higher level with Joliet portraying the troubled and conflicted young man with uncompromising skill. We see in his eyes the longing to find answers juxtaposed with his new-found information and how it is affecting his relationship with the sweet, adoring, and pregnant Isi. Montez’ natural and genuine portrayal of Isi creates a sense of reality not only in her relationship with Ryan, but with the story itself. She’s in love with this young man who is changing before her eyes. We feel her internal conflict and understand her decisions completely. Dale Dickey finds a way to shine in the role of the motivated realtor and Krisha Fairchild gives a disturbingly wonderful performance as the nosey and well-informed next door neighbor. Skillful writing, deft direction, striking cinematography, and a talented cast create an outstanding film in this genre.
“Inheritance” is a step above the typical supernatural horror/thriller films. Using psychology and intellect to lure viewers into solving the puzzle of Ryan’s life, the film becomes unique and simply spell-binding. “Inheritance” opens on Friday, June 2 at 9:30 pm at the TCL Chinese 6. For ticket information, go to www.danceswithfilms.com/inheritance