The Good Son is a 1993 film starring Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood. The film was directed by Joseph Ruben, previously known for such films as The Stepfather (1987) and Sleeping With The Enemy (1991).It is about Henry Evans, played by Macaulay, a psychopathic kid terrorizing his cousin, Mark (Elijah Wood). Mark tries incredibly hard to convince his family that Henry is psychotic and evil, a fact that should be noticed even if you're three miles away. Mark continually tries to stop Henry from getting worse, only to have Henry make him look worse at every turn...The movie was critically hated, being called a thoroughly creepy, unpleasant experience. The movie was a modest box office hit. It had a relatively small production budget and earned about $60.5 million in the worldwide market. About 45 million of these dollars came from the United States market, where it was the 31st most successful film of its year. Elijah Wood won a Saturn Award for his performance in this film.The Good Son
Provides Examples Of:
Adults Are Useless: Really, all the signs are there but not one adult sees how off Henry is. When Mark points this out, he is labeled the crazy one. Even a child psychiatrist can't figure out that Henry is evil.
Mark's father leaving him with relatives so he can go on a business trip. Immediately after his son's mother died. Even worse, Mark's father doesn't seem to take Mark's report about Henry's cruel nature seriously because we never see him return from his business trip after this.
Annoying Younger Sibling: Henry thinks Connie is this. But of course it's justified, it's because Henry often acts rude and even tries to kill her. Connie is actually very nice and friendly to other people, such as Mark.
Big Brother Instinct: Connie and Mark respectfully, Connie is nice especially compared to her brother Henry. She does what it takes to try to help Mark cope with the loss of his mother, she even sides with Mark after the hide and seek game. Mark in return gets along better with Connie, reading her bed time stories, helping her with puzzles and slamming Henry against the wall for hurting her.
Big Brother Bully: Even before he tries to kill his sister, Henry is rude towards Connie.
Strangely enough, before said murder attempt, they're holding hands on the ice rink, which could imply that they are in fact close. Of course, it only makes it that much easier for Henry to try to kill her the way he did, and it's not like Connie was expecting that anyway.
Big Damn Heroes: Mark tackles Henry when he tries to throw a big rock on his own mother, Susan, while she dangles off the edge of a cliff.
Bittersweet Ending: Henry is dead and Susan and Mark both survive the experience, but Mark is left wondering what would happen if Susan had to make the choice again. And there's the obvious mental scarring. The ending basically leaves you with the implication that there will be many hard years ahead, particularly for Susan.
Book Ends: The movie opens and closes on Mark standing on a large rocky hill looking into the distance.
Bowdlerization: In the UK cut of this movie, the scene of Henry throwing a dummy off a bridge onto a road and causing a multiple-car pile-up was edited (in one of many examples of UK censors getting rid of scenes featuring dangerous actions that can easily be imitated in real life, mostly fight moves, destructive pranks, ingesting chemicals, and tooling around with sharp objects, electricity, or fire).
Cassandra Truth: No one believes Mark when he tries to tell how twisted his cousin is.
Gilligan Cut: A pretty depressing example occurs at the beginning, when Mark is sitting by the bed of his terminally ill mother, repeating desperately that she won't die because he won't let her. Then it cuts to her funeral.
Hollywood Density: Henry tries to kill his sister by hurling her onto thin ice, where she immediately falls through. However, several adults trying to save her easily walk on the ice and need massive axes to chip it open mere seconds later.
Idiot Ball: It's the only reason the adults don't see the obvious malicious nature of Henry.
Karmic Death: In the climax, Henry tries to kill his mother by shoving her off a cliff. He's the one who ends up falling from it - by her hand.
Kick the Dog: Henry shoots and kills a dog with a nail crossbow.
Kill the Cutie: Maybe. Henry attempts to kill Connie by throwing her onto thin ice. She's saved from drowning, but she spends the rest of the movie in a coma and it's never specified if she ultimately recovered.
Lack of Empathy: Henry for the seventh time, which makes him extremely Trope Overdosed. In particular when he asks Mark about how his mother looked when she died and described how his baby brother looked and felt as a corpse.
Literal Cliffhanger: Henry shoves his mother off a cliff and tries to finish her off with a rock to break her attempts to climb back up. Susan manages to pull herself back up just as Mark attacks Henry and both boys go over the side, forcing her to try and save them by catching them.
Suicidal Gotcha: After Susan finally figures out that Henry was behind Richard's death, he runs away and tricks her into believing he's jumped off a cliff. When she's looking for him, he runs out from behind some bushes and shoves her over the edge, setting up the film's climax.
Too Dumb to Live: Again, the adults who can't seem to wrap their heads around just how genuinely screwed up Henry is. This includes a child psychologist, by the way.