“There is no one else like my daddy.” – Beyoncé
Star and universally renowned hobbit, Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings-trilogy) has starred in numerous horror/thriller-esque vehicles over the past decade. In New Zealand-born Ant Timpson‘s directorial debut, ‘Come to Daddy‘ we see Norval Greenwood (Wood), a privileged man-child visit the beautiful coastal home of his estranged father, who he hasn’t seen in 30 years. Not remembering a thing about the man, we get to witness an unfortunate family event between the two that will reveal secrets changing both their lives.
Timpson, who’s known for producing other comedy thrillers such as ‘The Greasy Strangler‘ and ‘Housebound‘, finally takes the wheel and does a pretty good job at envisioning his original idea, developed into a screenplay by Toby Harvard (writer of The Greasy Strangler). What gives the film the edge it really needs to keep your attention is its eye for production design, Daniel Katz‘s stunningly captivating cinematography which gives the British Columbia filming locations that endless escapism in times of self-isolation, and Karl Steven‘s unique sound to underline the quirky behaviour of Wood’s character along with the situations he finds himself in.
Wood himself is unbelievably believable as Norval. The confusing-taken-back-attitude of the character evolves into some sort of unpredictable and surprisingly maniacal detective, who’s just out to get all the answers about his past. The rest of the cast is decent, but this is Wood’s film without a doubt. What he does with the script and small amount of locations to work with, finds another dimension in his “grapelike” eyes which make him look more frightening than charismatic.
The film never overstays its welcome and could easily become a cult classic. Clearly inspired by some of Hitchcock’s best work and with a twist as unpredictable as that of this year’s biggest Oscar winner ‘Parasite‘, Come to Daddy has a level of confidence we don’t see that often within the indie-genre. What starts off as a somewhat funny family reunion quickly turns into a dark and very gory thriller that will make you squint your eyes more than once. “The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children.” – William Shakespeare.
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Review – ‘Come to Daddy’
Reviewed online (screener provided by distributor), March 31, 2020. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 96 min.
PRODUCTION: An Umbrella Entertainment release of a Firefly Films, Blinder Films, Nowhere, Scythia Films production. Producers: Daniel Bekerman, Toby Harvard, Katie Holly, Mette-Marie Kongsved, Emma Slade, Laura Tunstall. Executive producers: Lia Buman, Tim Headington, Ant Timpson.
CREW: Director: Ant Timpson. Screenplay: Toby Harvard (idea by Ant Timpson). Camera (color, widescreen): Daniel Katz. Editor: Dan Kircher. Music: Karl Steven.
WITH: Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie, Garfield Wilson, Madeleine Sami, Martin Donovan, Michael Smiley, Simon Chin, Ona Grauer, Ryan Beil.