Come to Daddy Review

Elijah Wood as Norval

Stephen McHattie as Gordon

Michael Smiley as Jethro

Martin Donovan as David

Madeleine Sami as Gladys

Ona Grauer as Precious

Directed by Ant Timpson

Come to Daddy review:

Films based around family reunions very seldom get the horror twist, choosing to stick closer to dysfunctional humor or moving drama rather than thrills or chills, but Ant Timpson and Toby Harvard had other thoughts and brought Elijah Wood along for the ride at the humorous and nail-biting thriller Come to Daddy, and it pays off in spades.

Wood stars as Norval Greenwood, a Los Angeles musician who gets a letter from his long-estranged father asking to come see him at his lakeside cabin for a long-awaited family reunion. But as he attempts to connect with his father, he begins to notice he may be hiding as Norval finds the truth behind his father left and the events which are to come, dark secrets and things turn to the macabre.

From the get-go, it is clear that things will be stressed and darkly comedic, and Timpson and Harvard find that equilibrium in near-perfect nature, delivering some of the strangest and gut-busting laughs in the horror-comedy genre while at the same time keeping things stressed and pulses racing. From a heated conversation over if they know Elton John into explorations of what it is like to grow up without a father and what it is like to try to get closure on the years lost, the script feels fresh and smart all the way through, never feeling like a poor imitation of other similar story efforts.

One of the best aspects of the film comes solely from Wood in the character, as his character is put through multiple ringers and the actor has to find a way to deftly jump from one emotion to the next all in a few minutes. Wood proves to be committed to the role, knowing how to have audiences both sympathize because of his character while still keeping them on the fence as to whether we ought to root for him, giving off a feeling of douchebaggery along with a clearly type soul.

McHattie turns out to be a marvel to watch, chewing up every piece of scenery in as Wood attempts to associate with him, he is. He proves to be a dark character that viewers certainly don’t want to root for, but want to see more of as the film continues, when knowing how to hit the offbeat comedic notes carrying a really charisma. His chemistry with Wood is intriguing as they show a talent for knowing push the buttons of one another to get the best functionality from one another and how to perform to the strengths and weaknesses of each character.

In addition to the great balance of tone and performances, the film’s second and third acts prove to be one of the most bonkers and exciting script flips using a eye-opening twist that begs for rewatches for clues of this sin and sees the characters placed through some of the most fraught, intense and darkly humorous situations audiences have seen in a while. From individuals being stabbed with a pen covered in a unfortunate bodily fluid to individuals being choked out by muscled-up female prostitutes, the story knows when to throw a little levity into its more dark and frightening minutes and it shines.

It’s certainly tough without spoiling the film for audiences to go, but for those who go in thinking they have the film and know where it goes, you will definitely get multiple surprises .

In general, Wood, Harvard and Timpson have created one of the funniest, most thought-provoking and many disturbing efforts in each genre it fits in and it holds loads of details and fantastic performances to draw several viewings.


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