Directed by Ant Timpson and starring Elijah Wood, surrounded by many other familiar faces, Come to Daddy is a horror-comedy-thriller.
In order of release dates, this was the second new horror movie of the year I was genuinely excited about: the first one was The Turning… and we all know how that one turned out!
Continue reading and check my final grade below…
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My review is also available on IMDb – Come to Daddy (2019)
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Plot… try to keep up!
In short, Come to Daddy begins with Frodo Beggins (I mean, Norval Greenwood, played by Elijah Wood) knocking on the door of a remote house by the beach, where we learn Norval’s father lives (Stephen McHattie, Pontypool). Norval, a 30-year-old hipster, received a letter from his father, whom he never met before, asking him to go visit. From the get-go, their reunion feels odd and strangely unsettling, as though there’s something unsaid between them. As the story goes by, Come to Daddy becomes progressively more insane and absurd, as one plot twist shortly follows another, until the film ends.
Although the plot of Come to Daddy might sound quite straightforward, this movie unravels in ways you will definitely not expect. In fact, one of the best qualities of Timpson’s movie is the fact that the story is so unpredictable and bonkers, which keeps it interesting to watch, at least from a plot-related perspective. What’s very unique about this movie is its commitment not to stick to any rule: despite the traditional 3-act structure, every other element of the storytelling just goes against the norm.
Is there humour in Come to Daddy?
The movie’s fierce attempt at having a fully unpredictable and weird storyline can feel a bit jarring to some (it definitely felt a bit confusing to me), but the humour works as the glue that keeps everything together, at least on paper.
Humour and comedy are extremely subjective by design, but I’d say they worked for me in Come to Daddy. For the most part. If you enjoy strange, almost-uncomfortable dry sense of humour that comes out of nowhere, you’ll probably like the comedy in Come to Daddy. I laughed out loud a couple of times, and I found myself giggling throughout mostly due to the odd combination of absurd storyline and dry, out-of-place jokes.
Characters and visuals
Despite a very respectable cast, filled with recognisable faces among the horror community, none of the actors managed to give their character any personality. In fact, this is an issue with the directing more than with the acting – if the script doesn’t give you anything to work with, you might be a great actor but you’re not going to be able to portray a good character. The absurdity of the plot, in fact, causes Come to Daddy to jump from one character to the next, in such a way we don’t get the opportunity to relate to anyone.
With the character development being nihil, one might expect the story to be accompanied by great visuals or memorable scenes. When it comes to the cinematography, however, Come to Daddy feels very bland and average. The movie is competently shot and features impressive use of natural and unnatural lighting, but there’s no distinctive style to any technical aspect. Combined with lack of relatable or interesting protagonists, the tiresome look and feel makes Come to Daddy a really shallow picture that you easily forget as soon as you’re done watching it.
I don’t consider Come to Daddy a bad movie, nor I felt I wasted my time (or money) watching it: despite its substantial emptiness, I’ve rarely experienced such a weird and “lawless” storyline in a horror movie. The comedy mostly worked for me as well, since it was, again, very odd and unpredictable. There were, also, a few instances of gore that felt raw and unflinching.
However, some of the most important aspects of both pure filmmaking and horror cinema were failed in Come to Daddy: with no relatable characters and visual flair, this movie felt very forgettable and kind of frustrating. On top of that, Elijah Wood’s performance was surprisingly awful, which definitely didn’t help the movie being enjoyable.
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