Saturday, October 19, 2019

Mom and Dad (2017)

Mom and Dad plays like a zombie movie if the undead were swapped for psychotic parents. Seriously stylish, from the beautiful retro opening credits to the expert use of music (satisfyingly Carpenter-like in places) to the rich cinematography, but also rapid and unforgiving in plot (you've got to respect a film that starts by showing a mother leaving her baby in the path of an oncoming train) this packs a hell of a lot of fun into its not even 90mins.

Which, when you realise it was written and directed by Brian Taylor, the writer/director of the Crank franchise, makes perfect sense!

We meet a white middle class household. Mom, dad, big sister and little brother. They're the kind of people who have those motivational/aspiration script-y signs everywhere in their home. The scene looks kind of perfect but quickly we see that, of course, things aren't that way.

Mom (Selma Blair) does a typical white woman "I'm an ally!" move of apologising to her Chinese housekeeper for something she deems offensive said at breakfast, but in the process offends the woman more. Dad (Nicholas Cage) seems close to his son, but at work turns the photo of his kids face down to jack off at his desk before taking a nap and ignoring a call from his wife. He's obsessed with his youth and all the opportunities he missed out on to have the life he does now.

No one is particularly likeable. But that's okay.

One of the best aspects of Mom and Dad is that we see the story unfold from both perspectives in the central family. As things start to go batshit the kids fight to stay alive, but more interestingly, we're shown what mom and dad are doing, too. It's chilling and hilarious how rational all the adults are about trapping and murdering their own children. Everything else about them is the same apart from this sudden, insatiable, specific urge to kill and it's highly entertaining to watch!

This was an excellent find after some false starts one evening. For sure worth checking out if you're in the mood for something blackly comic. Mom and Dad is fast, funny, mean, and streaming on Hulu at time of writing.


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