The Good Son

“My first big celebrity crush when I was wee was Macaulay Culkin. I’m not even sure what movie started it other than it wasn’t Home Alone and my crush was full on by Richie Rich. Getting Even With Dad maybe? I don’t know. But I do remember that my third grade self was not allowed to watch The Good Son, or as I thought of it, “”Mac’s movie that I can’t see because it’s rated R for some reason I don’t understand””. It would be years before I saw it. And celeb crushes shifted from Mac to JTT to Taylor Hanson and onward. For those of you keeping score at home, we’re on to Derek Hough now (with Jared Leto right behind). I don’t remember when I did finally get to see The Good Son, but I do know that I instantly loved it.

I’d heard a rumor that Mac was sort of forced into doing this role by his overbearing stage parents, in an attempt to break type casting. And oh my goodness is it a departure from all the family friendly comedy he’d been doing at that age. I don’t know if my nine year old brain could have handled seeing the love of my life as a vicious sociopath.

The film actually is told from the point of view of Mark, played by bite size future heartthrob and hobbit Elijah Wood. When Mark’s mother dies and his dad has to go away on business, he’s sent to live with his aunt, uncle, and cousins. Mark gets close to his cousin Henry (Culkin) and soon realizes that while Henry is the sweet and eager to please son around his parents, he’s an entirely different person when the adults aren’t looking. We’re not just talking typical boy mischief. We’re talking dead and tortured animals, and some seriously mysterious circumstances involving a sibling’s death and another’s close call.

The film is seriously disturbing, which is why I love it. Maybe in retrospect a lot of it is a bit contrived, but I know I was affected the first time I saw it. Also, I’d be really interested to see Wood and Culkin team up today. Especially given how dark some of Lij’s recent endeavors have been, I think it’d be really cool to see them together with the roles reversed.”

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