Inheritance is now available to rent through Video-On-Demand.
Despite admirable efforts from its two leads, Inheritance is a hollow thriller that makes viewers wait too long for a dull, simplistic twist. It’s the type of mystery that relies heavily on a third-act swerve to justify the entire journey, stretching out the story, signaling that something is going to crash down on our hero’s head in the end. But when that moment comes, Inheritance chooses the most predictable and drab conclusion.
Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror, Tolkien) plays Lauren Monroe, an ambitiously righteous Manhattan D.A. whose corruption-busting tactics fly fiercely in the face of her super-wealthy family. When her father (Patrick Warburton) mysteriously dies, he leaves Lauren a cryptic message and the key to a hidden bunker on the Monroe estate.
We’re only ten minutes in now and the film is purposefully, and obviously, playing a shell game (with one shell) by having Warburton’s patriarch not mention anything in his posthumous video to Lauren regarding what she’s about to find. Because of this, she falls into a rabbit hole of nonsense and nincompoopery that could have been easily avoidable.
Inside the underground shelter, Lauren finds a tortured, chained-up man played by Simon Pegg, Herein lies the film’s ghoulish hook. Lauren has inherited her dad’s most dastardly deed. She’s literally looking at the skeleton in the closet. Pegg plays man who’s been held captive for 30 years by Lauren’s father. A poor soul who now hopes Lauren, as the do-gooder “black sheep” of the clan, will set him free.
Inheritance sets up Lauren’s spotlight life as being a stressful and precarious one. She’s in the middle of a headline-making trial and her brother (played by Chase Crawford) is running for office. It’s understandable that this insane situation, involving an inhumanely-treated prisoner on her family’s property, would cause everyone’s best-laid aspirations to crash and burn. But even given all that, it’s still hard to buy Lauren not immediately contacting the authorities or, in the very least, going to other members of her family (who may not know the situation but may know who this guy is).
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Instead, Lauren drives herself mad with anxiety while trying to figure out if Pegg’s character is full of s*** or not. And considering how poorly she handles all of this, you wind up wondering why her dad, in his message, tells her that he couldn’t leave this secret with anyone else. By the end of the movie, you come to realize that literally anyone else would have been a better choice to tackle this dilemma.
Inheritance, which was supposed to make its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival last month, is a glossy “gotcha”-style puzzle that feels like it would have been right at home in the midst of ’90s’ “cat and mouse” mysteries, as its story beats feel like they were unearthed a few decades ago. Pegg and Collins are better than the material here, with Pegg getting to play around with his darker, desperate side and Collins nicely unraveling as her world spirals. Even the premise feels fun and fresh. But after the first act, everything plays out so lazily while Lauren searches for answers to things that, ultimately, wind up not mattering or making a difference.
This is Pegg’s second collaboration with director Vaughn Stein after 2018’s Terminal and it’s clear the actor, mostly known for comedy, is using these projects to branch out into more macabre fare. And he delivers a captivating character. Unfortunately, the twists and turns wind up turning it all into sinister schlock.
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Source: IGN.com New in VOD: Inheritance Review