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|“||No fair? What do you think this is, a game?||„|
|~ Henry Evans' famous catchphrase.|
|“||If I let you go, you think you could fly?||„|
|~ Henry Evans asking Mark directly if he could fly if he dropped him.|
|“||Hey, Mark. Don't f-ck with me.||„|
|~ Henry Evans threatening Mark.|
Henry Evans is the main antagonist of the 1993 psychological thriller drama film The Good Son. He is the monstrous and arrogant cousin and archenemy of Mark Evans, the film's titular main protagonist.
He was portrayed by Macaulay Culkin, making him the actor's only role as an antagonist so far.
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 and his cousin Henry, who seems like a good friend and a nice boy at first, meet up. However, Henry's true nature starts to show up after some of his behavior is revealed. Like starting out when he smoked and pressured Mark into doing it telling him that ("he's gonna die anyway") and then expressed interest in death, asking how Mark's mother looked like when she died.
Mark felt uncomfortable with Henry's behavior and threatened to hit him if he talked about his mother again. Henry replied that if he did, he would throw Mark into a well. Henry becomes jealous when he sees Susan hugging Mark. Henry later took a home-made crossbow and revealed great aiming skills with it, hitting a tree that a cat was sitting next to. Henry then shot and killed a dog that had chased the two earlier, much to Mark's shock and horror. And he later caused a massive pile-up using a hand-made dummy named Mr. Highway.
He also implies 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. Henry confronts Mark in their room when Connie shows up as well. Henry is displeased that Connie is in his room and makes it clear about it but is pushed away by Mark, who pins him to a wall. Henry implies he is going to kill her just before Susan breaks the two up.
Susan and Wallace leave and Mark becomes worried that Henry will attack Connie and finds her safe. After reading her a story to make her go to sleep, Mark leaves the room and Henry reveals himself in the dark, and once again hints he will kill Connie. The next morning, Mark wakes up and finds out Henry took Connie skating and leaves the house to find them. By the time he gets there, Henry tosses Connie onto thin ice and that she breaks through, almost drowning. Several adults rescue her, and Connie is hospitalized. Mark once again tries to warn his uncle and his aunt, but they still refuse to listen.
Mark later sees Henry talking to the therapist telling her about Mark's "strange behavior" successfully manipulating her. Mark confronts Henry on their treehouse, where Henry becomes even more jealous of Mark when he says that Susan is his mother now. Later, that night, Mark wakes up and goes to the refrigerator at the middle of the night to get a snack and Henry confronts him and tells him to get whatever he wants and Mark asks what did he do to the food, and Henry jokingly asks Mark would he do something like that. Henry later alerts his parents about Mark disposing the food in the garbage disposal and Susan and Wallace stop him and send him to bed.
Susan finds the rubber duck that was with Richard when he died in Henry's room and asks him about it. Henry lies and says he took it because "he wanted something to remember Richard by", and he asks for it back but Susan refuses so Henry takes it away by force and runs off to the cemetery and drops it down the well. Later on, Henry and Mark meet up in their room and Henry hints he will kill Susan. Mark grabs a pair of scissors and pins Henry and threatens to jab the scissors into his throat. Henry pressures Mark into doing it when Wallace sees this and locks Mark in a room until he talks.
Henry tricks his mother into taking a walk in the woods with him, where she finally asks if he killed his baby 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 large 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 tries to save them both, but soon realizes that only one can be saved. Remembering that Henry tried to kill her (and would likely try again), being too dangerous to be left alive, she reluctantly releases Henry, despite his desperate pleas that he loves her, leaving him screaming and falling to his death onto the rocks below. Susan pulls Mark up from the ledge and they look down upon Henry's body on the rocks below before he is washed away into the sea, and they both share an emotional embrace.
Henry was an extremely ruthless, dishonest, disrespectful, callous, dishonorable, rude, manipulative, sadistic, unsympathetic, and selfish child who never appreciated the well-being of others. He found the idea of death to be rather enthralling, with the exception of his own. Not only did Henry show no remorse for his actions, but he enjoyed them immensely; for example, after murdering an aggressive dog with his homemade crossbow, rather than feeling remorse or regret for 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. Thus, while psychopathic and twisted, he is capable of understanding why his actions are so terrible.
It seemed that envy was what awoke the beast in Henry as he drowned his baby brother, Richard, in the bathtub purely out of jealousy for how his parents were paying more attention to him, even giving him Henry's favorite 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. Therefore, it is possible that he is willing to die in order to torment others as long as it's done by his own terms.
Henry's reason for attempting to kill 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. He also stretched out his hand towards Connie to make it seem like he was trying to save her, though considering his sadistic personality, he may have also tantalized his sister by keeping his hand right out of her reach.
Had Henry 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 simply ignored. 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 or, as mentioned above, if he endangered his life in the process.
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 (or at least, refusing to let others kill him unless he wants to), 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 his incapability to understand love completely, this was 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 despite her trying to reach him upon finding out his true nature. 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 role as an antagonist so far, whereas he mostly played protagonists, such as Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Indeed, many film critics criticized Culkin's casting as Henry Evans due to his comedic image in the Home Alone films.
- Despite this backlash, Culkin claimed that he enjoyed doing the role.
- Henry is even essentially What If Kevin McCallister was an emotionless psycho who uses his craftiness against his family instead of burglars.
- Macaulay Culkin was cast as Henry Evans because his father Kit thought he was perfect for the role. To ensure his son could play the part, Kit threatened to pull Macaulay out from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York unless 20th Century Fox agreed to cast him as Henry, a request the studio granted because Culkin had become such a bankable star for them.
- Henry was never seen murdering people on-screen but does attempt to kill his own sister and his own mother. He also murders someone's dog onscreen.
- Henry's siblings were played by Culkin's real-life siblings.
- Despite their characters' on screen rivalry, Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood (who played Mark) became very close friends during filming and have remained so.
- 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.