Six Feet Blunder

Review: Inheritance digs up the past, but you'll wish it remained buried

Review: Inheritance digs up the past, but you'll wish it remained buried Movie Review


Grade C+

Luke Whiston

19th October 2020

I was reading some comments under the Lily James gossip stuff recently, and someone said they couldn't tell the difference between James, Emma Roberts and Lily Allen. Lily Allen? But she's a singer, not an actress. And then I realised the person was an American and only knew her from films, not Top of the Pops. And then it got me thinking about initial impressions of people, and how I could work that into this review, before realising it's actually Lily Collins in the film and not Lily James. So my point is there are too many women.

The new film on Netflix, Inheritance, is that most intriguingly disappointing of things: a passable movie made badly. Although the twist is very obvious. It's also completely miscast which doesn't help either. But it was the newest film the least clicks away from the home screen, and thus currently sits in the Netflix Top 10 - which has not a lot to do with the quality of their programming, and more to do with the tiny robot that lives inside your TV working out how to get you to watch the movies they've invested in. I call him 'Choosletron'. Or 'Choosie' for short.

But don't blame Choosie and his lack of curation skills - robots can only calculate results from predetermined logic. Whereas us humans make choices based on the abstract nature of our experiences, where a million different variables we've been exposed to throughout the day, and indeed our entire lives, have led to this moment at 8.15pm on a Wednesday night when we want to pick something to watch. It's a small victory for Choosie that we go with one of his offerings, but he could never understand why it doesn't make us truly happy.

TFW Netflix recommends Hubie Halloween

Anyway, like I said, this film I didn't really want to watch but watched anyway has promising elements of a decent revenge-twist thriller, but the merits are few and slip away the longer you start to think about them - something the near 2-hour running time gives you ample chance to do. In it, Lily Collins plays a young lawyer, Lauren Monroe, who finds her life upended by the death of her father, and the discovery of a horrific secret he'd been keeping buried - literally - in the form of a shackled former business associate, Morgan Warner (Simon Pegg).

Morgan tells Lauren her father kidnapped him a few decades earlier, but couldn't bring himself to kill him even though he knows all his darkest secrets, so he locked him up in an underground chamber he happened to have laying about instead. Also if she lets him go he promises to definitely not do anything bad as some sort of revenge. So you can see where this is heading. What follows is a back and forth of driving and shouting, and naturally as per thriller convention, only one of them can make it out of the secret bunker where Morgan has been hidden out of sight alive.


I get the feeling this was aimed at a younger audience. Collins and Pegg are a fairly lightweight pair, with neither convincingly bringing the air of authority a lawyer would command or the sinister edge of a vengeful maniac, and there's a hint of soapy melodrama throughout. Pegg's involvement in particular is a headscratcher - being put in a ludicrous long grey dusty wig and adopting an American accent straight out of a Big Train sketch. I thought Hollywood loved a hammy British villain? Consequently the end result is thin on genuine menace, and in the worst instances guffaw-inducing.

Given a bit of a trim and a makeover, Inheritance could have been a fun way to kill a few hours, but as it stands there's nothing particularly riveting about any aspect of the film. The placement in Netflix's top 10 arguably proves that people will happily watch content like this, which means we'll probably see more like it soon. Maybe it's time collectively to start demanding better? Or maybe it's easier to just blame Choosie and go back to watching the world spin. Goddamit, Choosie, you arrogant little shit.

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