Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad is a horror film focusing on a television signal that turns the parents into murderous monsters. The film is a study about growing old and accepting change. However, this character study is conducted with the nuance of an atom bomb. This lack of nuance isn’t a detriment because this film is wonderfully tongue in cheek throughout, it revels in the sheer insanity of the plot. The plot is ridiculous from the get-go with a scene in the first act about a group of parents climbing over the walls of a school to kill their children. The slow-motion editing that follows this scene is very well used, really adding to the graphic nature of the scene. Continuing on, the film is paced very well with every second of screen time being used to full effect. The characters are quite two dimensional overall with only a few scenes and flashbacks serving to develop them outside the craziness. Nicolas Cage is in top form as Brent, with each manic action his character performs being elevated by the insanity in his eyes. This film features a performance by Cage at his most manic, and if that is what you’re into then this film has you covered. Selma Blair is similarly fantastic with her matching Cage’s insanity in every scene. Blair’s character of Kendall probably has some of the best emotional beats of the film, showing what it’s like for a mother having to let their child go. In this way I found myself feeling quite sorry for her for the first act of the film. However, the main issues of the film come from the performances of the children. To preface my complaint let me first say that the children are the protagonists and the parents are the antagonists, as such, I shouldn’t have been rooting for the parents. In that lies the problem the children just aren’t likeable. Annie Winter’s character of Carly is incredibly annoying throughout the first 30 minutes of the film and, is seemingly written as all the worst stereotypes about teenage girls rolled into one. Furthermore, Zachary Arthur’s character of Josh is just dull never really adding much to proceedings and feels like he’s just there for the sake of it. I don’t think that these are the faults of the actors but, rather the faults of the script. The script is good in a lot of ways which helps to boost the crazy on-screen visuals, but at the end of the day, it’s more spectacle than anything else.
Overall, I would highly recommend even if some of the performances are bad.
reviewed by Luke.

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