Come to Daddy (MA) - 95 minutes
Some seriously messed up material is the essence of Come to Daddy, which fits comfortably in the horror/black humour genre.
An irreverent screenplay which pushes the boundaries of taste and intentionally causes discomfort is at its core.
Basically, you are meant to dislike most of the characters.
Norval (Elijah Wood), sporting a monk cut hairdo and pencil moustache, is a 35-year-old Los Angeles DJ who lives with his mother.
Unexpectedly, after a lifetime of estrangement, he receives an invitation to visit his father.
Norval hasn’t seen his dad since the old man up and left his mother and him three decades ago.
Now he will hightail it into the wilderness by the coast hundreds of kilometres away, but what he finds when he gets there is hardly what he was expecting.
Rather, it is a surreal nightmare.
The directorial debut of producer Ant Timpson, the screenplay is by Toby Harvard.
The idea came from a deeply personal space for the director after he lost his father.
Timpson’s dad’s partner thought it would be a good idea to bring his body back after embalmment to spend some time with the grieving family.
Timpson ended up living with his father’s corpse for a week in his dad’s house.
For much of the week that meant being in the home with his dad’s body in an open coffin, sleeping in his father’s bed and wearing his clothes.
Strangers came and went, paying their respects to a man who sounded like nothing like the person Timpson knew.
During that week, Timpson was beset by dark, intense dreams and his mind started playing tricks on him.
In a film like this, overacting is a badge of honour.
Elijah Wood is the stabiliser around whom the action unfolds and he keeps up his end of the bargain.
His persona is all about incredulity at what he has walked into and he pulls it off admirably.
I must admit that I was intrigued by what was going down.
Come to Daddy is far from conventional, with no shortage of surprises, which become more and more twisted the longer the film progresses.
Violence, fetishes and dependency abound.
People die and are seriously injured.
Clearly, the picture won’t suit everyone’s tastes – in fact, most will find it distasteful and unappealing.
Visually, it is quite striking, especially when it comes to showcasing natural wildness and ocean beauty (the cinematographer is Daniel Katz).
I assure you though, that isn’t enough to wallpaper over the sick and offensive, which are its hallmarks.
If I haven’t put you off by now, then you could be a candidate to see Come to Daddy.
My only concern is if a film like this puts ideas into nutters’ heads.
Rated MA for good reason, it scores a 6 out of 10.
It is available as video on demand from Umbrella Entertainment (https://www.umbrellaent.com.au/on-demand/4476-come-to-daddy-vod.html?#search_query=come+to+daddy&results=2) from 1st April and on Google Play and iTunes from mid April, 2020.