Young Luke looks like any other kid at the beginning of The Son, The Father. He’s on his way home from school and we find out that it’s his birthday. It isn’t until he stops to chat with the lady who lives next door that we begin to suspect that all isn’t well in Luke’s home.
When he walks inside seconds later to find his mother apparently dead, Luke understandably freezes up. He seems to have no idea what to do and he wets himself as the shock sets in from what he’s seeing. When his mother stands up revealing she’s not actually dead and begins to berate him for not taking action to try to call 911 or check to see if she’s okay and humiliates him for wetting himself, Luke’s home situation becomes abundantly clear.
What follows over the next few minutes is an exquisite study of how one moment can affect the rest of your life and how repeated abusive moments in a child’s formative years can create monsters from the most meek and innocent of individuals.
What’s even more beautiful is that Hassel manages to tell such an emotionally wrenching story in a horror/thriller that clocks in at less than fifteen minutes, and those fifteen minutes are filled with harrowing performances.
Hassel, himself stars as Luke’s father, a constant witness to his wife’s mistreatment of his son who sacrifices everything to try to make things right only to realize the damage had been done. Meanwhile Colleen Carey is bone chilling as the abusive Mother taking glee in the humiliation and mistreatment of her own son.
But it’s in the two actors who portray Luke that the emotional weight of the film really makes impact. Lucas Oktay as the young Luke shows remarkable depth in his sadness and resolve in the moment when he finally breaks under his mother’s pressure, and Christopher Morson radiates an almost catlike intensity in his sociopathic stillness as the older, changed Luke.
The Son, The Father is currently make the rounds and winning awards on the festival circuit. To stay up to date on all the latest news, you can follow the film on Facebook!
In the meantime, check out the trailer below!