Come to Daddy

A film can sometimes take so many risks, twists, and turns that the movie itself becomes borderline indescribable.  Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy falls in this camp, so how do I even begin to discuss it?

Elijah Wood portrays Norval Greenwood, a man who has recently received a letter from his long-estranged father, Gordon (Awakening the Zodiac’s Stephen McHattie), who wants to reconnect with his son.  After Norval gives Gordon the benefit of the doubt and shows up with a second chance, the reunion takes a brutal and violent turn.  The extreme content is few and far between, owing to Norval’s position as an everyday man stuck in a strange world, but this pacing works to the story’s advantage.  When the film turns nasty, Come to Daddy becomes visceral;  mainly due to scenes of wanton cruelty being followed-up by dark comedy and irreverent attitudes towards otherwise serious subject matter.  Admittedly, these are disgusting moments, but they’re juxtaposed so well with the bizarre sense of humour.  Come to Daddy will render movie goers speechless in admirable and audacious ways.  Aside from the shock factor, Wood and McHattie pull off brilliant performances, along with Michael Smiley who is too often underutilized in recent films.

The screenplay (written by Toby Harvard, who previously co-wrote The Greasy Strangler) falls short due to a disappointing ending.  It’s not a “bad” conclusion per se, but the story is wrapped up in a way that’s so abrupt, it doesn’t seem intentional.  But, nonetheless, if you like dark – and I mean *dark* – comedy and twisted character pieces, you could do so much worse than Come to Daddy.


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