MOVIE REVIEW: The Inheritance (2021)
With its grand, oak-panelled chambers, shadowy recesses and elegant vaulted ceilings that ooze supernatural intrigue, you have to admit that The Inheritance is a pretty tantalising proposition at first glance. At least outwardly attractive enough to prompt a momentary pause in the dreaded eternal search for Something Good To Watch On Netflix Tonight, turn and declare to your visibly beleaguered significant other, “Oo, The Inheritance. That looks good.” But hit ‘Play’ at your peril because, like the dream home whose pristine exterior conceals a nightmarish array of structural damage, leaky pipes and dodgy electrical wiring apparently installed by the local village idiot, a visually appealing façade is literally all this poorly hewn-together horror has to recommend it.
When Sasha’s (Natalia Ryumina) Ukrainian grandfather passes away, our protagonist finds herself the sole owner and heiress of a vast mansion estate situated in the heart of urban Kiev (a location which has, since the making of the movie, sadly acquired its own very particular dark and tragic contextual backdrop). But despite this apparently fortuitous turn of events, it’s far from plain sailing for Sasha from the get-go, with both an overtly grasping and manipulative husband coveting ownership of the property and a host of sinister local characters urging her to sell, for reasons which remain an unresolved mystery right up until the end credits roll. Cue the mysterious disappearance of the aforementioned, money-grabbing hubby, a group of intimidating bald men in suits seen to be guarding the premises day and night, together with various, possibly supernatural things that go bump in the night, and the end result is one of utter, abject confusion.
From here, our minds are inevitably awash with questions: Where is her husband? Why is everyone so keen for Sasha to sell the house? What happened to her grandmother? Why are the bald guys still loitering around outside the house? Surely at least one of them is going to need to take a bathroom break at some point, right?
Our curiosity piqued, we press on, despite the painfully inorganic, threadbare dialogue, wooden performances and poorly developed plot, vainly hoping for answers, or indeed any form of resolution to what becomes an increasingly messy and illogical storyline. But, alas, pay-off for our long-suffering patience there is none.
Suffice to say that if The Inheritance was half as frightening as it is downright confusing, we’d have a more than passable horror title on our hands. But, well, we don’t. We really don’t.
The Inheritance is now available to stream on Amazon Prime