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The Inheritance (2011)

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Five ambitious cousins set out on a family reunion during the dead of winter. The purpose of the retreat is to secure their inheritance, a fortune that dates back many generations.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Lily
...
Karen
Janae Burney ...
Ancestor Girl
...
Uncle Melvin
...
Uncle Grady
...
Ancestor Henry
...
Tyrone
...
Simpson
...
Chakabazz
...
Ancestor Lily
...
Felicia
Johntae Lipscomb ...
Ancestor Boy
...
Ancestor Karen
Edward Nattenberg ...
Martin
Novella Nelson ...
Aunt Bee
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Storyline

Five ambitious cousins set out on a family reunion during the dead of winter. The purpose of the retreat is to secure their inheritance, a fortune that dates back many generations.

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Thriller

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Release Date:

12 April 2011 (USA)  »

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$500,000 (estimated)
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Quotes

[first lines]
Tyrone: Family reunion in the snow. They couldn't have this shit in Puerto Rico?
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Good Idea, Poor Execution
8 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A family has a reunion in the snow where they plan to ask their rich uncle for money. However, the uncle has other plans.

What attracted me to this film was Keith David being in the cast, whom I have loved ever since "They Live". His role is a bit smaller than the rest, but he still had enough screen time that it went beyond a cameo and was quite enjoyable. (He also served as an executive producer.)

What might stand out for people is the almost all-black cast. Producer Effie Brown says the film was designed to be "universal", in that although the family is black it is not a "black movie" and can appeal to everyone -- the theme of a group of people stranded somewhere facing death is a common horror motif. And Brown is right -- although the background to the story ties in to slavery, there is nothing about this film that would alienate the audience due to race. Interestingly, this had been a concern of the marketing department, and hence the figure on the cover was made racially ambiguous.

For those who really find watching a film with black people uncomfortable, the inclusion of the white couple, with their cracks about black people, snow and barbecue, should help smooth things over for you. But if that is what you need to survive the film, I am not sure what it says about you.

The story itself is decent, though at times it drags on. The cinematography is good, though some of it came across as MTV-style with its quick cuts and time-elapsed scenes. I am referring in particular to the montage in front of the cabin where we see the snowmobile coming and going, but apparently never leaving the front yard. What I found to be the best part was the clever idea of making "The Flesh Is The Strength" deteriorate into another phrase. (Though why Shakabazz prefers English is a mystery.)

This is not the horror film of the year, but it is not a failure, either. The creators tried to do a little something different, and in that they succeeded. The goal was also to make it capable of becoming a franchise... whether or not that will happen remains to be seen, but the potential is there.


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