Dealing with family, especially around the holidays can be taxing at the best of times. We all want to connect with people in our lives, but often that connection can be brutal, heartbreaking and dangerous.
At least that is what the new film Come to Daddy, from Turbo Kid and Deathgasm producer Ant Timpson would have you believe. This fun little midnight movie takes the concept of connecting to family to new, often maddening direction, and it is all the better for it.
Norval (Elijah Wood) is an awkward, young man looking for his place in the world. Growing up in the flashy, privileged existence of Beverly Hills, he wears his wealth as a suit of armour, hiding the true pain inside. From the flashy gold plated iPhone, to the clothing and hairstyle, Norval uses wealth and possessions as a way to hide his trauma, loss and his recent struggle with substance abuse. When he gets a letter from his long-estranged father, he treks out to a remote cabin by the water to find the fathly connection that has long been absent from his life.
Arriving at the house he finds the hope for connection shattered as he is greeted by the bitter, hateful visage of Brian (Stephen McHattie). Norval is quickly thrust into a battle of wills trying to win his father’s affection, making Come to Daddy an often painful to watch in its early moments. A glorious family trainwreck that you can’t help but look on in horrified glee. The barbs shared between these two characters will make many squeamish as each new interaction works to craft an often brutal dance for approval and acceptance.
Thankfully, things do not stop there, and director Ant Timpson keeps the runaway train rolling to new and magnificent adventures. Come to Daddy ventures into places I did not think possible walking in. What I thought to be a movie about family trauma and the fears of reconnecting to someone you barely know, becomes so much more. This is a movie that ventures into a brutally violent world, where everyone is looking to kill you, and they are willing to do so in the most tristed ways possible
As savage as Come to Daddy, it is the performances by the full cast that makes it so engrossing to watch. From the awkward performance by Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie to Michael Smiley and Martin Donovan, this is a movie that carries you along for its ridiculous ride with style and flair.
Come to Daddy maybe vicious with its story and off the wall trajectory, but though all the brutal violence, madcap antics, and awkward moments, there is a lot of heart at the core of this film. Toby Harvard crafted a script that although wild at times, wears the concept of family connection on its sleeve, giving enough pathos to make the journey and tragedy well worthwhile.
Come to Daddy is not the movie you expect it to be, and it is better for it. This is a film that is good to go in as blind as possible and let the mayhem embrace you like a blood-soaked hug. From great performances to a story that will leave you questioning everyone’s sanity, Come to Daddy is a film you won’t want to miss.