Mom and Dad review: This ‘anti-parenting’ film sees Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair pay a mother and father who have their minds set on offing their offspring.
Mom and Dad review by Luke Ryan Baldock.
Just in time for Mother’s Day comes this delightful tale of parental love towards their children. Or, rather the flipside of that. Brian Taylor, one half of Crank’s directing duo, offers the anti-parenting film of the decade in this bizarre social-horror that’s only real downfall is having a limitless premise in an 86 minute feature. If you’re sick and tired of all those films that tell you how family is everything, and how being a parent is worth all the stress and pain, then this could be the pessimistic antidote you are looking for.
Mom and Dad is never greater than its B-movie plot, a plot that for once aids the viewer in knowing it before going in. The world is struck by a strange pandemic in which parents want to kill their children. That’s it, and already it’s a terrifying prospect. Those who are meant to love, support, and protect their children suddenly become murderers, causing the youth to have to fight off their parents in slapstick – Home Alone familiar – ways. What’s very impressive though is the restraint that Taylor shows, carefully selecting rules for his strange disease.
Essentially a zombie film to some degree, the parents all keep their minds and eloquence while becoming killers. They are not mindless rage filled creatures, but are able to communicate and persuade. They are also only intent on killing their own children, making for some excellent comedic flourishes of encounters with parents who have recently completed the deed. The dark humour is forever at the forefront, putting horrific deeds into unbelievable contexts. Thankfully, Taylor also avoids getting too graphic, with most violence happening off screen and leaving it to the imagination.
The film hurtles along at a breakneck pace after a wonderful build-up. Knowing the synopses means you’ll feel like a nervous wreck every time a parent picks up an implement that might later be used as a weapon, or when a child upsets their mom or dad. Chosen as the main focus are Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair, both of whom give crackingly cracked performances. Cage especially is enjoying his time, playing a tired and calm father, who soon goes wide-eyed and manic as only Cage can. Blair takes a while to turn, but is so cold and calculating when she does that it is the perfect balance between the two.
Mom and Dad requires a rather sick sense of humour, while also being able to accept things that teeter precariously on the edge of silliness. Taylor’s energy keeps proceedings fun and frantic, while also delivering an alternative message in a saccharine industry. A beautifully ludicrous amount of fun, Nic Cage is at his unhinged best, and the dark humour has you in tears while feeling immense guilt. Parents stay away (or let off some steam)!
Mom and Dad review by Luke Ryan Baldock, March 2018.
Mom and Dad is released in UK cinemas on Friday 9th March 2018.