Rotten Tomatoes is celebrating Halloween with 31 days of horror double feature recommendations. Each day of the week will have its own theme, with today’s being Twisted Tuesday! And if you want see what’s in store or what you missed, see the Daily Double schedule.
Twisted Tuesdays sink a knife into the facade of normalcy and twist the blade. For this Daily Double, we look at psycho killers of the preadolescence set.
A generation of ’80s kids can proudly claim that The Good Son (1993) is the first horror film they saw in the theater. By that time, Disney had ceased its productions of kiddie horror, but director Joseph Rubin saw an obvious audience need for sophisticated thrillers that could appeal to both children and adults alike. An adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel The Child in Time, The Good Son stars Macaulay Culkin hot off of his Home Alone success and putting his off-kilter maturity to good use as Henry, a psychopathic boy whose charms ward off any suspicion that he could be capable of murder. Elijah Wood, who was also a burgeoning child actor at the time, stars opposite Culkin as Mark, a cousin who’s just lost his mother and becomes unnerved by Henry’s callous obsession with death. The two play a game of cat and mouse, with Henry trying to off his own family just to torment his cousin, culminating in a pretty shocking, melodramatic scene that feels more Stephen King than Ian McEwan. Though the film was panned upon release, that reception had more to do with viewers’ unwillingness to see Kevin McCallister as the embodiment of evil, but The Good Son, with its bleak, wintry landscapes and chilling depiction of boyhood has withstood the test of time.