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|“||No fair? What do you think this is, a game?||„|
|~ Henry Evans' famous catchphrase.|
Henry Evans, or simply Henry, is the main antagonist of the 1993 psychological thriller drama film The Good Son. He is the evil, psychopathic, chaotic, megalomaniac cousin of Mark Evans, the film's main protagonist.
Since Mark's father must go on a business trip to Tokyo, he leaves his son with his uncle Wallace and aunt Susan. Soon, Mark meets his cousin Henry, who seems like a good cousin and a nice friend at first. However, his true nature starts to show up after some of his behavior is revealed, like shooting animals with a nail gun, causing massive pile-ups using a hand-made dummy named Mr. Highway, and actually smoking (the latter he pressures Mark into, telling him that "he's gonna die anyway").
He also points out that he probably killed his own brother before the movie's events. A horrified Mark tries many times to warn his uncle and aunt about Henry's sick-minded behavior, but they will not listen to him. After Henry tries to murder his own sister while they were skating on a lake among the crowd, Mark once again tries to warn his uncle and his aunt, but they still refuse to listen.
Soon, Henry warns Mark that he will try to kill his own mother because he believes that she loves Mark more than him.
Henry tricks his mother into taking a walk in the woods with him, where she finally asks if he killed his brother since she earlier found one of his long lost toys in Henry's possession, to which he replies, "What if I did?", shocking his mother and making her see the monster Henry truly is. Refusing to be sent somewhere where he would be given special treatment for his behavior, he tricks her into following him to a cliff and pushes her off, but she hangs herself to a branch below. Henry tries to drop a rock on her to finish her off, but Mark immediately comes to her rescue and battles Henry. As the two wrestle, they almost fall down the cliff, but Susan (having just reached the top) hangs onto them both and must decide which one to save. She actually wanted to save them both, but knowing that each boy required both hands to save, that Henry tried to kill her (and would likely try again), that Mark was right all along and trying to save her, she, saying "Henry," ultimately rescues Mark and releases Henry, leaving him screaming and falling to his death onto the rocks below. As Mark and Susan look down at Henry's body, the ocean current washes it away.
Henry was an extremely arrogant, remorseless, ruthless, cruel, callous, psychopathic, manipulative, sadistic and selfish child who was utterly incapable of appreciating the well being of others and found the idea of death to be rather enthralling, with the exception of his own. Henry was not only unable to understand why causing other people pain and suffering was something he should not have been doing, he enjoyed it immensely.
After murdering an aggressive dog with his homemade crossbow, rather than feeling remorse or regret what he had done, Henry instead felt only joy and satisfaction and had a broad, wicked smile on his face whilst watching the car accident he caused get bigger. Henry has been described as a Cluster B psychopath with antisocial, narcissistic, and borderline personality disorders with sadistic features.
It seemed that envy is what awoke the beast in Henry as he drowned his 3-year-old brother, Richard, in the bathtub purely out of jealousy for how his parents were paying more attention to him, even giving him Henry's favourite rubber duck, which Henry kept after he killed him as it was in his words: "Mine before it was his". After finding that killing Richard had been so easy for him, Henry discovered that he did not feel saddened when bad things happened to other people and then learned to live by a philosophy: "Once you realize that you can do anything, you're free. You could fly. Nobody can touch you, nobody".
Henry took surprisingly little to no care of his own health, rationalizing that smoking was okay because everyone would die one way or another. Had he lived to be older, he possibly would have started using other drugs and alcohol. Henry stated that he used to be afraid before realizing that doing horrible things made him happy instead of sad, or had no impact on him either way.
Henry's reason for killing his little sister and mother seemed to stem from a desire to devastate Mark more than from jealousy, as he noticed how close Mark was becoming to them both and had already demonstrated that other people's suffering thrilled him. Henry had already made it clear he disliked (and even hated) his sister Connie but it was odd how he chose to kill his mother instead of Mark. He possibly preferred her to be dead than be a mother/mother figure to anyone else, or felt that she was too close to learning the truth about Richard's death.
Henry never felt any genuine love for anyone, even for his family. It was likely that he only wanted Richard out of the way so he would get all the attention and praise of his family, and so that they would serve him. Henry was horrible to Connie; aside from trying to kill her, he would psychologically and physically torture her on many occasions and addressed her as "vermin" at one point.
Henry was also surprisingly calculating for his young age, he was able to make the murder of Richard and the attempted murder of Connie seem like an accident. Had he gotten away with killing his mother, he could have lied about it, having been there when it happened, and it would have been surmised that she had either fallen or committed suicide due to her heartbreak over Richard's death, the latter of which is something everyone knew she felt guilty for. Henry also convinced everyone that Mark's grievance over his mother was driving him to insanity, keeping all suspicion off himself and was even willing to blame him for the traffic collision he caused.
At first, Henry's psychopathic nature had simply been due to jealousy, but since then it had developed to the point that another person's life having value was a fact that Henry was simply unable to even remotely process. The shine he took to Mark at first was possible because he saw Mark as a potential pawn rather than a friend, as he viewed everyone he knew as disposable if they no longer satisfied his needs or posed a threat to his freedom (which was what he valued above everything else).
What was really disturbing about Henry was that he understood the difference between right and wrong, and knew perfectly well that what he was doing was bad but he did not care. If he wanted to do something and if it was within his reach to do it, he would — without caring at all about how it affected other people.
Despite Henry's interest in death, and enjoyment for causing it to others, he valued his own life and was afraid of dying himself; as far as Henry was concerned, it was OK for everyone except himself to die or be in pain. He briefly tried to convince Mark to follow in his footsteps and give up all traces of empathy so his life would be better, possibly implying that Henry thought everyone should be like him. Henry also had a ridiculously excessive sense of self-worth, as he felt that he was entitled to everything he wanted just because he wanted it, with no rational reasoning.
Henry's greatest weakness was ultimately his incapability to understand love completely. This is evident by when he still thought that his mother would always love him unconditionally, even after he had subtly admitted to killing Richard to his mother and then tried to kill her. Henry also asked Mark if a person is expected to cry at their mother's funeral, apparently only guessing that it is something most people would do.
- The role of Henry Evans is Macaulay Culkin's only villainous role so far.
- He is never seen killing anyone on-screen.
- Henry's siblings were played by Macaulay's real-life siblings.
- One may notice that once he begins to show signs of his evil behavior he starts wearing two different colored shoes a black one and a white one.