“Come to Daddy“ is a thiller/dark comedy film that isn’t afraid to pull punches. Its humor is gritty and dark, never afraid to address mature subjects that even other horror movies wouldn’t touch. It’s violent moments, while fewer than one may expect, are incredibly visceral and gut-wrenching. Thanks to this and stellar cast, ”Come to Daddy“ is a movie you won’t forget.
The movie opens with Noval Greenwood (Elisha Wood), a fairly standard pretentious unemployed music producer, on his way to visit his estranged father (Stephen McHattie) after receiving a letter. The relationship between the two is raw, real and deeply uncomfortable. The first half-hour is entirely focused on setting up some familial imagery and building tension between these two characters who might as well be strangers.
McHattie is absolutely my favorite part of this movie. His ability to be so unrelentingly abrasive and unpredictable made every scene he was in nearly burst with tension. The beautiful thing is that his performance felt refreshingly real. Many horror villains will feel almost cartoonish, but this abusive, unpredictable lout is someone we can picture running into on the street and it is terrifying.
The best way to describe the plot without spoiling the fun is that it snowballs significantly to great effect. The first 40 minutes are slow, only showing a few hints that this may be more than a story of reconciliation. Then we get our first major twist and is it a twist. This twist sets off a chain reaction that takes what was originally a grounded, unsettling story and launches it into a rampage of nearly nonsensical plot points and inhumane violence.
The violence is visceral and gruesome, but it’s also rare. Blood and sound work are wonderfully effective at making each stab trigger that gag reflex. While other horror films have more blood within the first ten minutes than this entire movie, the quality of the kill rivals some of the leaders in the industry.
Humor is subjective, but if you like your jokes dark and a little too real, this movie will have you laughing nearly as much as it has you cringing. The slow setup of the first half of the film would have been incredibly dull if it hadn’t been save by this brand of humor. While it isn’t exactly class or even humane at times, the comedy is perfectly timed and wonderfully acted.
Consistency, specifically in costumes, was compromised at times. Clothing items would have new stains between cuts that didn’t feel realistic, specifically with wine and blood. The wounds stayed more consistent, but there were one or two shots that felt off.
Wood’s nail polish would also change without reason. In one scene, black, in the next scene, no nail polish. It’s a small detail that wouldn’t be so noticeable if Wood’s hands weren’t so prominent in the many close up shots.
These issues are hardly deal breakers, however. Horror movies with larger budgets are plagued with dozens of more production issues within the first few minutes. The fact that there were only two really noticeable production issues with a fairly tiny team of artists is considerable.
Overall, “Come to Daddy” is a fantastic film, but not for the weak of heart.
“Come to Daddy“ is releasing in the US Friday, Feb. 7. For more information on upcoming movies and films, please continue to read the Daily Beacon.