MOM AND DAD (2017)
Darkly humorous flick has a mysterious “attack” reversing a parent’s natural instincts to protect their children and turning homicidal on their offspring instead. The film focuses on the dysfunctional Ryan family, mom Kendall (Selma Blair), dad Brent (Nicolas Cage), teen daughter Carly (Anne Winters) and little brother Josh (Zackary Arthur), as an already unstable home becomes a battle for survival when the Ryan parents gleefully try to murder their children.
Written and directed by Brian Taylor (Crank, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), this is an unapologetic-ally over-the-top and sometimes gruesome flick that is not afraid to “go there”. The source of the attack, that seems to emanate from TV and computer screens, isn’t revealed, but Taylor revels in it’s effects. We get some very chilling sequences of parents slaughtering their offspring quite happily, including a very effective Dawn of The Dead style scene of a horde of parents attacking a school to get at their young, and a delivery room sequence that chills to the bone. What makes it work is that the writer/ director has a very twisted and dark sense of humor about the proceedings that gets you giggling at some pretty unnerving acts. Once we get inside the Ryan home, Blair and Cage go full blown over-the-top as Brent and Kendall try to kill their kids…but wait till grandma and grandpa come over for dinner, it becomes a free for all. Do all parents sometimes have the inner urge to want to kill their kids? If the film has any relevant questions, that would be it, but is too busy having bloody fun with it’s concept to get too philosophical. Sure it’s not perfect. Not every scene works and the film might have been even more effective if the Ryan family were a more normal, loving family and not one already on the edge. As is, though, it’s a twisted and over-the-top flick that is refreshingly without boundaries. Also stars the great Lance Henriksen as Grandpa Mel and Marilyn Dodds Frank as Grandma Barbara.