Nico, an incredibly intelligent and difficult teenager, lives a privileged life thanks to his very successful father, Carlos. Keeping to himself almost entirely, Nico is obsessed with Chess, dreaming of one day becoming a world champion. Extremely gifted, Nico struggles with social adaptation while showing an extremely defiant attitude, especially towards Carlos. The constant father-son confrontation affects the family severely which leads Carlos and his wife to hire Julio, a renowned psychologist whose expertise lies in children. Being a master of chess in his own right, Julio uses the game as a type of therapy as he attempts to discover the truth behind Nico's hostility towards his father. Jesus Monllao's Son of Cain is a engrossing thriller that keeps the viewer constantly involved from start to finish. The narrative of Son of Cain is straight-forward enough but what makes this film so compelling is the dynamics between the various characters. The father-son dynamic is at the forefront, with Nico and Julio's friendly relationship being an extreme contrast to the relationship Nico has with Carlos. There is a great sequence during Nico's birthday in which we see how Carlos is metaphorically stripped of his ability to be respected and appreciated by his own son. It's a very quick moment but poignant capturing how Carlos feels like he has been replaced. While this dynamic is great, I could have down without the love angle centered around Julio and Carlos' wife which just feels completely unnecessary to the story. Son of Cain is a film that one should go into blind, consisting of a few twists and turns that lead up to a incendiary and downright chilling finale that is incredibly effective at shading the viewer from what is coming.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.