6.4/10
32,274
161 user 44 critic

The Good Son (1993)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A young boy stays with his aunt and uncle, and befriends his cousin who's the same age. But his cousin begins showing increasing signs of violent behavior.

Director:

Joseph Ruben

Writer:

Ian McEwan
Reviews
Popularity
3,771 ( 1,355)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Macaulay Culkin ... Henry
Elijah Wood ... Mark
Wendy Crewson ... Susan
David Morse ... Jack
Daniel Hugh Kelly ... Wallace
Jacqueline Brookes Jacqueline Brookes ... Alice
Quinn Culkin Quinn Culkin ... Connie
Ashley Crow ... Janice
Guy Strauss Guy Strauss ... Arizona Doctor
Keith Brava Keith Brava ... Doctor in Blackport
Jerem Goodwin Jerem Goodwin ... Factory Worker
Andria Hall Andria Hall ... Woman Reporter
Bobby Huber Bobby Huber ... Axe Man
Mark Stefanich ... Ice Man
Susan Hopper Susan Hopper ... Woman at Rescue
Edit

Storyline

Following his mother's death, Mark is sent to Maine to visit his aunt and uncle while his father goes on a business trip to Tokyo. Mark meets his cousin, Henry, and the two quickly form a friendship. However, Henry begins to show signs of violent behavior that worry Mark. Written by Sam

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Evil has many faces See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for acts of violence and terror involving a disturbed child | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 September 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El ángel malvado See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$44,594,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$60,417,219
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's infamous scene with Henry and Mark on the overpass bridge and throwing a dummy over to cause a massive car pile-up was imitated by some pranksters on Halloween, near Detroit. A pregnant woman swerved on the road to avoid hitting what she thought was a person--and died. See more »

Goofs

The same shot of a Chevrolet Caprice sliding into a blue car, and then a Ford LTD into those is used twice in the freeway wreck scene, from different angles. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man: [Mark plays soccer with his teammates as they cheer Mark's name] Get the ball!
Mark: Pass it to me!
Boy: Shoot it! Hit it in! Hit it in!
Mark: [Mark scores the goal] Yes! Yes!
Boy: Good goal! Good game.
See more »

Connections

References The Bad Seed (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

The Cliff
Music composed by Elmer Bernstein
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Dark insight into sociopathic children
27 March 2006 | by Mel JSee all my reviews

I think part of the reason why 'The Good Son' is barely remembered is because it deals with a side to humanity that no-one really wants to accept in that not all children are sweet little innocents, pure as the driven snow. It's not very comfortable watching a film that shows sociopaths-- people born without the ability to feel guilt and empathise with others-- are born, not made and their dangerous traits are apparent even in childhood. 'The Good Son' revolves around Mark, a motherless boy of twelve who is sent to stay with his Uncle Wallace, Aunt Susan and two cousins, twelve-year-old Henry and six-year-old Connie. At first, Mark revels in the visit that takes his mind off his recent bereavement but he soon starts to realise that Henry is a sociopath whose parents are blind to his dark, violent side. It is a film that pulls no punches in just how malevolent Henry is and how easily he will pick off anyone who dares to interfere with his twisted sense of fun.

Macaulay Culkin was excellent as the angelic-looking Henry whose boyish cuteness hide his true nature and his performance here proves he could have been one of the few child actors who graduated into a successful young adult actor had his personal life not been such a mess. It really was chilling seeing the child I was so used to seeing in comedies being so emotionally cold. But it is Elijah Wood's Mark who gives the film heart. Young Wood, only eleven years old when he filmed this, delivered a great performance as a young boy faced with the awful truth and desperate to stop Henry while juggling his grief over losing his mother. The scene where Mark is convinced Henry has poisoned the food is a perfect example of how Wood portrayed Mark's desperation, hysteria and helplessness in the face of his cousin's evil.

However, one of the flaws of the film is that is a bit choppy, jumping from scene-to-scene without giving you a feel for the other characters, which is a shame because this is one film where you do need to have an understanding of just how Henry's nature affects all those around him and how he gets away with it all. I read the novelisation of the film by Todd Strasser before seeing the film so it's all the more noticeable for me. The book not only gives greater insight into Mark's budding fraternal friendship with Connie and his need to seek a mother in Susan but it also shows Susan's growing awareness to the monster Henry is and how she feels when she is made to choose between Mark and her murderous child.

Overall, this film is enjoyable enough for a psychological thriller (although a few TV detective shows have done this idea in a slicker way) and it is nice to see a film that doesn't take a softly-softly attitude when dealing with the matter of children who kill. However, the ending was a bit of a cop-out as there could have been so many other avenues to explore had things ended differently for Henry (what should be done with sociopathic children? How do decent, loving families deal with such a child?). Those who do expect a bit more from their films will probably be disappointed.


24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 161 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed