''Fool me twice, shame on me'' is the real takeaway from Inheritance, a not-so-mysterious mystery thriller from director Vaughn Stein whose last film 'Terminal' was another messy, dull and disorienting trek of storytelling. This time though he has given the writing duties to Matthew Kennedy, which to be real for a second, doesn't move the needle much more than what you got from the page the last time. Featuring a cast of considerably recognisable names, the movie drops us to a manor where a wealthy politician Archer Monroe (Patrick Warburton) has passed away and as his estate gets inherited by his wife Catherine (Connie Nielsen), son William (Chace Crawford) and daughter Lauren (Lily Collins) according to his will. Archer has left Lauren a video where he points her to an underground bunker near the manor, only for her to find a man called Morgan (Simon Pegg) chained there whom she is advised to keep as a prisoner.
One thing that Stein has improved on with his direction is moving through scenes and sequences much more smoothly as this time around we get the information we need from each one so cuts to next locations make much more sense. However there is one big issue that still lingers with his approach which is just the matter of style, once again you could show five other thrillers next to his from five film students and you couldn't pick it out from the bunch. What do you want from your actors? Why are your characters lit unnaturally in natural environments? What do you want to say to the audience? Neither of two films answer these questions and maybe when you get around answering them, actors like Pegg won't offset the tone of the movie with astonishingly bad performances and someone like Collins gets an emotional arc worth their effort.
Some of the faults in Inheritance do come down to the writing and crafts as well which of course doesn't help. The information alluded earlier comes from events from the film but the characters are without any - they continue to do dumb things for plot's sake, Lauren is somehow the older sibling despite the casting choices and everything about Pegg's character is just so predictable. Pegg, to be fair, isn't getting any favours as the character is void of interest and the wig-facial hair combo is very distracting in every way possible. Lauren is also a character who gets thrown to the wolves due to decisions about what to tell about her, her husband and child serve no emotional purpose and that is something you can't get from slick lawyer suits. None of the movie's mysteries ever feel like worth solving.
Frowneys: Originality, characterisation, Simon Pegg, hairstyling
Shout-out to the poster, though.