THE INHERITANCE is a horror movie that ultimately failed despite having so much potential. Our reviewer even loves hauntings in various forms. But not this one. Read our full The Inheritance movie review here to find out what went wrong!

I will preface this review with two points: (1) I love films about hauntings. (2) I really wanted to like The Inheritance.

With an impressive trailer and it being described as a film “in the tradition of The Haunting of Hill House,” how could I not?

But, that’s where the excitement ended.

And, please believe me in that I wish I could say otherwise. There was so much potential.

“Many years of life and death, yet ghosts are forever” in The Inheritance

The premise of The Inheritance is straightforward. Following the death of Sasha’s (Natalia Ryumina) grandfather, Sasha is willed a beautiful manor in the middle of Kyiv, Ukraine, which has been gathering dust for decades. Sasha and her partner, Peter (Nick Wittman), travel to Kyiv to sign paperwork that would sell all assets in the will.

Following suspicious encounters with a local lawyer and the manor’s caretakers and the nightly witnessing of strange noises and voices in the manor, Sasha grows reluctant to sell, becoming increasingly curious of the manor’s history: Why has no one lived there in years? Why are there are always three men guarding the manor from the street? What happened to the manor’s staff?

As she digs deeper into the home’s past, uncovering family secrets, her questions are answered…

…at the expense of the viewer.

The Inheritance (2020) – Horror Movie Review

A film that couldn’t quite figure itself out

As I mentioned, I love films about hauntings, so this review does not reflect a general distaste for the subgenre.

In turn, it reflects the incessant mediocrity of The Inheritance, which was neither resemblant nor “in the tradition” of the novel or cinematic adaptations of The Haunting of Hill House. And, yes, I do take such “empty promises” into account.

The Inheritance’s fatal flaw was that it gave up on itself, characterized by an anticlimactic “twist,” a gaping absence of both jump scares and eeriness (i.e., ghostly slamming of doors should not be the only scare tactic), and a plethora of unresolved plot points that left me internally pleading for a final scene that would significantly elevate the film’s quality (cf., Contact, Pandorum).

Fails as a horror movie

In these respects, The Inheritance ultimately failed as a horror film. With the exception of the ghost-induced door-slamming, which became more telegraphed than startling, the few moments of intended jump scares were poorly edited, happening much too quickly for the viewer to appreciate, forcing me to rewind in order to know what I was meant to have experienced.

Similarly, its intended eeriness and suspense, elicited by a combination of anxious conversations about some unnamed higher powers-that-be and the nightly sounds of ghastly screaming, continued to dull throughout the film, remaining vague at best.

Ryumina’s Sasha was meant to carry the film, but she could do very little with a screenplay that, even though it answered Sasha’s own questions, will leave the viewer confused, unsatisfied, and, well, bored.

The Inheritance can be streamed on-demand from April 13

From an originality perspective, The Inheritance embarked on an unfulfilling quest of doing nothing new with an overdone concept, with hints of better films, such as La Llorona and The House at the End of Time. I wish I could have said kinder things about The Inheritance, but I was unimpressed.

Recommendation: Skip it.

The Inheritance is out on Demand and on DVD on April 13, 2021, from Uncork’d Entertainment.

Details

Directors: Chad Barager, Kevin Speckmaier
Writers: Chad Barager, Kevin Speckmaier
Stars: Natalia Ryumina, Nick Wittman, Valeria Dymova, Yuriy Dyak

Plot

A woman’s inheritance takes her to Europe where she will uncover a dark and disturbing family secret. Once she is alone in the former family manor, paranormal occurrences in the home begin and slowly intensify. She is forced to face her fears to uncover dark secrets lurking in her family history. And the deeper she delves into the secrets the home possesses, the more horrifying the answers become.

Cognitive neuroscientist by day, avid horror fan by night, I began writing reviews/recaps for Heaven of Horror in March 2019. I have a particular affinity to found-footage horror, but I truly love all horror subgenres. As a diagnosed sufferer of obsessive-compulsive disorder, horror movies help relieve my anxieties (and apparently, there's some science to support that). My favorite horror films/shows include Let the Right One In, Hell House LLC, Host, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, The Babysitter, The Haunting of Hill House, and so many more. I'm very particular about a film's originality when I write reviews, and I hope to steer y'all in the right directions when it comes to which movies to stream versus skip. Happy viewing!
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