The Inheritance Image

From the start, there is something not right with The Inheritance, and it’s not only the story. When Sasha (Natalia Ryumina) and Peter (Nick Wittman) go to Kyiv to spruce up and sell off Sasha’s inheritance, a large property in the city willed to her by her grandfather, she stumbles upon a family secret that is brought to her attention through ghosts and caretakers. She begins to piece together something horrible has happened, but the what is shrouded in bizarre people, outlandish tales, and a lot of paperwork. It’s as if the city of Kyiv knows but doesn’t care to share the knowledge. A language barrier, strange details, as well as suspicious men and women make Sasha extremely cautious about selling the property, which only has one buyer, according to the attorney.

What is not entirely understood is how Sasha’s husband Peter is involved in selling the property. Unfortunately, we never really know. However, Sasha investigates the Kyiv archives, searches secret passages behind wardrobes, probes into the past through those still alive, and discovers a bloody dress found in an incinerator. All signs point to murder. Can Sasha find the resolution she is so desperately seeking?

The camera positions and movement try to create a mysterious mood, but the style of co-directors and co-writers Chad Barager and Kevin Speckmaier comes off as a bit hokey. In fact, much of The Inheritance is quite cheesy. The music, which carries the thriller motif, is perhaps the most fluid part of the film. For a plot, the idea of an American receiving an inheritance in Kyiv, Ukraine, is very interesting.

“…[Sasha] stumbles upon a family secret that is brought to her attention through ghosts…”

However, the story has holes, and the characters depend upon the cold harshness of a Soviet tradition to move the story forward; given that they are not from there and the lack of context, it does not make sense. There’s not enough established background to convince audiences that this is a worthwhile story about deceit and murder. What little mystery exists is through old photos, as the props and set design are very well-conceived.

Perhaps most odd of all is the ending, which appears to hash out the storyline repeatedly as if the house is plagued for each generation that assumes it. It’s not as convincing and unsettling as it could be, even though the goons who supposedly watch the house could’ve been much more terrifying, but they are mostly a bit confusing in their directives or lack of. What is also bewildering and leaving a lot to the imagination is Kyiv itself. It’s industrial, and its buildings are old and in decay. The few men and women that are seen have a stark, harsh manner and appearance or feel frumpy and anachronistic.

The entire production is odd, and it never gives off the intended thriller vibe. Rather, the whole affair comes off as depressing and sad. Unfortunately, sparse dialogue and subpar acting do not help The Inheritance in what it lacks in story and mystery. It’s too cold and simple, leaving viewers unfulfilled.

The Inheritance (2020)

Directed and Written: Chad Barager, Kevin Speckmaier

Starring: Natalia Ryumina, Nick Wittman, Andrea Stefancikova, Valeria Dymova, etc.

Movie score: 4/10

The Inheritance Image

"…the props and set design are very well-conceived."

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  1. Yourstrulymindy says:

    I watched this movie all the way through just knowing it would all come together in the end. But it never did. Wasted my time.

  2. Terra says:

    RK, I assumed that was Peter, or the ghost of, screaming “Sasha!” at the end. Because he screamed her name out in the same way when the thugs were dealing with him.

  3. RK says:

    I’m probably one of maybe two people here in this comments section that actually liked The Inheritance. Only after reading the comments did I realize that what I thought was a pieced together story was something I ended up contriving in my own head about the film. I didn’t have the lingering questions most have stated because I guess I filled in my own answers:
    1) The mystery men: I figured the men that were always watching the house were members of organized crime. Sasha’s grandfather was involved in such activities, explaining how he was able to afford such an opulent piece of property.
    2) The single buyer: Keep in mind that the house is centrally located in the city, so prime real estate. Because I already thought that the watchers of the house were in the mob, I assumed that is who wanted to buy the property. The gang would be able to tear down the house and build, as Peter said in the end of the movie, A “high-rise” or whatever development.
    3) Peter’s involvement: in his final scene, Sasha mentions that Peter has debts he wants to pay off. This would explain him pushing Sasha to sell the property. Even if his debts were in America, perhaps he got himself involved with the Ukrainian buyer, cutting a deal to pay off said debts. Which also explains how Peter had made acquaintance with Roman, the “lawyer.” When Sasha repeatedly refused to sign the papers to sell the house, the gangsters involved grew impatient … and we saw what happened to Peter when he couldn’t hold up his end of the deal.
    4) The archive lady: this is definitely where I thought organized crime was involved. We have a mystery boss that’s involved in many parts of the city. They were keeping tabs on Sasha. When the archivist mentions that she surprised she didn’t get arrested, it’s because Sasha is starting to meddle in affairs that she shouldn’t really be involved in. When she showed up the next day, the archivist’s “boss” didn’t think there would be any harm in Sasha’s snooping after all.
    But a long-reaching underground gangster network would explain why people were tight-lipped about the house, no one wanting /reluctant to step inside the property, and the neighbors staring coldly when the Americans showed up. The entire Town had fifty years to spin rumors and half-truths about what happened in the mansion. And it’s somehow tied into the local mob.

    The only thing that I am actually confused about is the after credits scene. I could not figure out why there would be someone screaming for Sasha in the basement. I thought she figured out the mystery and the lingering Spirit was pacified.

    Even so, I thought it was pretty fun, light Ghost movie.

  4. Catherine says:

    There are a handful of movies I put on to fall asleep to. Does anyone else do that? Anyway, I love that this movie is dark, literally. It’s not full of yelling and screaming the whole way through. So it’s a good choice to put on when I need something to lull me to sleep. The mansion was beautiful and the views of the city were great. This could have been good had they gotten someone to rewrite it and maybe better actors.

  5. Bre says:

    Nonsense . No sense of any plot, story, conclusion. Dark and more dark. An amazing high ceiling and large doors place ,other than a. wanton house. views, Scooby where are You!…. Best points of the movie are these comments which are right on. 15 minuttes hop skipping then checking a conclusion, and yet no answers… How was this at the Box OFFIce? meek, non structured and a sleeping audience if any ?

  6. Karen Krasny says:

    I just finished the movie. I read these reviews and I am happy to see I am not stupid. I just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand what Peter was doing. I wish the end had been more ambiguous and then we could have wondered if Peter killed her when he hit her with the bottle. That would have made the scream at the end make more sense. OR if she found Peter’s body when she went to burn the dress. OR if she went back in and it was Peter screaming for Sasha. Storyline was bad, writing was bad, acting was mediocre.

  7. P.S. Peyton says:

    I think people expect that much like mainstream horror and ghost movie.

    There are load of questions that need to answer.

    I think that the director meant it to be like that for keeping thrilled vibe, yet it’s charming in my opinion. Maybe those mysterious question has no answer because we the audience watch the movie on Sasha point of view – that’s why it’s limited.

    When Peter got beaten up, I thought those guys are ghost? Well…if you look closer in the picture album. Their photo seems to took it long time ago.

  8. Amy Altum says:

    It was awful. So awful. I have more questions at the end than I did in the beginning. What was up with her man? Who did he owe money to? Who was the mystery buyer? Why would the archives chick mention her lack of being arrested? Who did she call? Who were those dang men and why have several different men been watching the house for years? Did they watch the house when it was empty and if so, why? Who left the food? How did her grandmother scratch the back of the wardrobe if there was a door?!? Why did a massive, beautiful home have such an awful and small kitchen? I mean either give your audience a whole, complete story or give us decent actors. Don’t leave us deprived of both. It was neither scary, thrilling, or entertaining. It was dumb. Really dumb. It’s the thriller equivalent of Sharknado, but with worse actors. Man they were bad actors! I feel like this whoever made this movie just said “Screw a plot. Let’s put on scary sounds in a big dusty mansion, throw in some angry people centered around a weird girl, let her find something with blood on it, and call it a movie. Oh and add a mysterious walled up room. Gotta have one of those in a mansion. ”
    I want the time I wasted watching this back.

  9. Mary says:

    That movie sucked. The end.

  10. kim says:

    Ok, from what I can gather, Sasha changed her mind and stayed in the house. So was the mob involved? Is that who wanted the house? Why??? How was Peter involved?? And sadly, I’ve never met a woman from Chicago who was so timid and so scared of everything. This movie had a lot of plot holes and good luck trying to get out of them!

  11. Cathy says:

    The “2nd” woman is Sasha. I assumed she changed her mind and decided to stay. If you watch after the credits there is another scene in the basement and a woman screaming “Sasha”. Maybe you have to be Russian or Ukrainian to understand this movie.

  12. Janis says:

    I enjoyed the movie but I don’t understand the ending. Was the 3 en watching the house and following to protect her? Who was the 2nd woman that came with the suit case?

    • Heather says:

      What second woman are you asking about? It’s the same lady, she just decided to stay.

      The movie would have been fine if they had left out the questions you all raised. Who were the men, and who was the buyer? Why did the archive lady think she’d be arrested? Without all of that unexplained nonsense, the story would make sense. She discovered a secret and asked questions to solve it. End of story. But that isn’t how it went, so yes it was stupid and not worth the time I spent watching it.

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