come to daddy
DIRECTOR: ant timpson (debut)
STARRING: elijah wood, stephen mchattie, madeleine rami and martin donovan
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Norval Greenwood, a privileged man-child arrives at the beautiful and remote coastal cabin of his estranged father. He quickly discovers that not only is dad a jerk, but he also has a shady past that is rushing to catch up with both of them.
On first glance Come to Daddy didn't really look like my kind of film. It looked a little to horror filled and as our resident horror expert was other wise engaged. So reluctantly I went along. And I'm so glad I went. Come to Daddy was one of the most bonkers, gory and entertaining times I've had at the movies for a long time.
When Norval receives an unexpected letter from his estranged father requesting a visit, Norval catches a bus up to his dad’s secluded and scenic waterfront home. Before long, though, he notices something off about his father and instead of a family reunion, he finds himself in a waking nightmare.
Well. Where do I begin? This movie is really weird. Like REALLY weird. And as it begun, having not watched the trailer or read anything about it, I was wondering what the heck is going on? The interaction at the beginning of the film between Norval and his Dad wasn't just awkward it just didn't seem to ring true.
But as the narrative progresses you become increasingly aware of why the opening is so strange. It makes a ton of sense and makes you realise how incredible Elijah Wood and Stephen McHattie are in those opening scenes.
The film opens up in the second act and continues to answer questions and then mess with your mind afresh. Come to Daddy is at its strongest when its bucking against genre stereotypes and mashing them all together.
Speaking of mash this movie is not for the faint hearted. Its graphically gory but has fun with it and most of the time I found myself asking - should I really be laughing at that death or horrific ending?
The final act is not as strong as the as the rest of the film as it departs from genre mashing and messing with your narrative expectations and heads down a more tried and true thriller route. That's not to say that the filmmakers don't land their ending, they do, it's just not as bizarrely original as the rest of the film.
This is the best I've seen Elijah Wood - ever and he's a really talented actor. He's gotta do so much in this film and draw us into the story, invest in it and its characters and he does it magnificently.
Come to Daddy although not for the faint hearted is absolutely bloody bonkers fun and is reminiscent of early Peter Jackson.