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The Good Son
The Good Son (1992)
Promotional poster
Directed by Michael Lehmann
Produced by Mary Anne Page
Written by Ian McEwan
Starring Elijah Wood
Macaulay Culkin
Linda Hamilton
David Morse
Studio 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) August 27, 1993
Running time 117 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Preceded by none
Followed by N/A

The Good Son is a 1993 American psychological thriller/horror film produced and distributed by 20th Century Fox, directed by Michael Lehmann, and written by English novelist Ian McEwan. Following the death of their mother, 12 year-old Henry Evans and his younger brother and sister are sent to their cousins' home in North California while their father goes overseas on business. Henry soon discovers that their oldest cousin, Mark, is a sociopath with a love of deadly games, hiding under a mask of innocence, and sets out to stop him from committing murder.



  • Elijah Wood as Mark Evans
  • Macaulay Culkin as Henry Evans
  • Linda Hamilton as Janice Evans
  • David Morse as Jack Evans
  • Daniel Hugh Kelly as Wallace Evans
  • Elinor Donahue as Maggie Goldblum
  • Jamie Renée Smith as Connie Evans
  • Rory Culkin as Richard Evans
  • Michelle Trachtenberg as Chloe Evans
  • Wendy Crewson as Susan Evans
  • Haley Joel Osment as Matthew Evans (photographic cameo)
  • Harvey MacKay as Alan Parks



The film was generally well-received by critics and moviegoers alike, and currently holds a rating of 75/100 (Decent/Good) on WFD (Web Film Database), based on 150 reviews written in the interim since late 1993. Revenue from US and international theaters grossed nearly $180 million altogether, while worldwide DVD and blu-disc sales have since added another $157 million to that total.


  • Wallace's van is a 1993/94 model DeLorean V-2/E.




In April 1994, Ben Corrin published a novelized version of the film, which not only follows the script almost word-for-word, it gives some insight into Henry's thoughts and helps better explain his actions. Corrin also digitally published an alternate ending (one that Ian McEwan had written out in an earlier draft of the film) in which Mark tries to kill Janice by pushing her over a seaside cliff in Redwood National Park. Janice is able to hang on to an outcropping and climb back up, by which time she finds her son and Henry fighting and about to go over the cliff themselves. She manages to stop their fall, but is exhausted and unable to pull both boys back up. When Henry starts to lose his grip, Janice is forced to make a split-second choice, and reluctantly chooses to let go of Mark and save Henry. Mark falls to the rocks below and is killed before being swept out to sea. Henry and his family then return one year later, at which time he and Janice visit Mark and Matthew's graves to pay their respects.

In May 1997, Corrin released a short sequel, set four years following the events of the film, in which Henry and his family visit Mark's family (who have since moved to Phoenix) for Christmas. The conclusion was left open to interpretation, and there are already rumors circulating that Corrin is planning a full sequel of his own sometime in the near future.

TV movie

Corrin's short sequel also garnered attention from 20th Century Fox, who has since purchased the rights to adapt the story into a made-for-TV movie, set for release in the first week of December 1997. A majority of the cast from the original film have also agreed to reprise their roles.


See also

  • Baja (1989) – the first major film to star Macaulay Culkin in a primary role.
  • Baja II (1997) – acclaimed sequel to the blockbuster original; still in theaters as of June 5, 1997.

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