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Come to Daddy (2019) Movie Review

I Write These Movie Reviews Locked in the Trunk of Your Car. Thanks for the Snacks!!

come-to-daddy-2019-movie-review

MPAA Rating

R

Running Time

96

Director

Ant Timpson

Writer

Toby Harvard

This Father’s Day spend some time with your dad and watch the horror movie Come To Daddy. If you’re over the age of 15, let’s make it 13, and your father actually says “Come to daddy” with a weird inflection in his voice, maybe you should—

You are absolutely right. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Right again. Let’s try this one more time.

This Valentine’s day spend some time with your father and watch the horror movie Come To Daddy. It’ll bring you closer together—

Agreed. Let’s try this one more time for the last time.

This random day that doesn’t really mean anything, perhaps you should spend some time with your father for no reason than you watch the horror movie Come To Daddy. It’ll bring you closer as a family and maybe, just maybe you’ll forgive him for that thing he did way back in 2017.

Well, at least you can watch Come To Daddy together, because it’s a pretty effective horror movie regardless of whether you have a father or not.

Like in Crawl? Never mind.

You could have mentioned that your dad died last year. It would have been nice to know. So rude.

Should you see Come To Daddy? Elijah Wood would.

Synopsis (or Son-opsis, because Elijah Wood plays a son. That was a dad joke, because...)

Come To Daddy opens with an epigraph from both William Shakespeare and Beyoncé, if that gives you any clue to how wonderfully odd this movie is.

Elijah Wood gets off a bus, goes through the woods, over a river to his father’s house. He plays Norval Greenwood, a man in his mid-30s who still lives with his mother. Norval has a haircut that looks like his mother did it and maintains it every couple of weeks. He also wears a Hitler ‘stache kind of like Taika Waititi’s in Jojo Rabbit.

Just in case you were wondering why a man in his mid-30s was still living with his mother. Also, his name is Norval.

Norval got a letter from his father asking him, begging him to come and visit. You see, Norval’s dad abandoned him with his was just 5 and they haven’t seen each other since. Now dad writes him a letter out of the blue.

What’s a guy that looks like a comandante to do? Maybe he could ask his dad why the f*ck they named him Norval?

In a month he'll be able to lift it with one hand. Or start singing into it.

In a month he'll be able to lift it with one hand. Or start singing into it.

Norval is understandably a tad trepidatious to see his deserting dad, but he’s willing to give it a shot. Until he actually meets his father.

Dad Gordon (Stephen McHattie) is a drunk, is fond of using the C-word (both as a general profanity and as something to call Norval whenever he feels like it) and generally doesn’t seem all that happy that Norval is visiting. And that’s some of his more positive traits.

Norval wonders out loud why his father even invited him over. Dad is reluctant to answer.

Dad feels like bonding with Norval, so he decides to take a “selfie photo”. He then proceeds to “accidentally” drop Norval’s phone over a cliff. That was a special edition phone with only 20 of them in existence. Dad has now crossed the line.

The next day, drunk Dad does another awful thing to Norval while swimming and Norval has had enough. Norval threatens to leave unless Dad tells him why he wrote him a letter when all he’s done is make him feel unwelcome.

Dad threatens to kill Norval with a butcher knife.

Before you can think to yourself that this escalated very quickly, Gordon keels over from what appears to be a heart attack, butcher knife in hand.

It isn’t long before Norval confirms his horrible dad is dead.

It isn’t long before the coroner zips up dead dad’s corpse into a body bag. Unfortunately, there’s a problem with space at the morgue, so Gordo’s corpse is going to have to stay with Norval for the next couple of days.

Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Even though his father is now dead, Norval will soon find out his daddy issues are going to get a lot worse. Worse than the strippers in Hustlers. Worse than Brad Pitt in Ad Astra. Because Norval’s daddy angst now has a body count that could get even higher.

RIP Norval’s gold phone.

Subtle. No one would ever look at a partially open trunk.

Subtle. No one would ever look at a partially open trunk.

What Works With Come To Daddy

  • Director Ant Timpson keeps the audience off guard right from the jump. Throughout the running time you’re never really comfortable as you’re aware that something violent could happen at any moment. You anticipate more than what actually happens, but a sequence in a kitchen illustrates that when you’re right, you’re really bloody right. Ewww.
  • An early scene involving Norval and Gordon about Elton John (of all things) is one of the tensest non-violent scenes in recent memory. Think about a Thanksgiving dinner with your racist Grandpa. Then multiply it by 1.5.
  • Elijah Wood’s best performance since the Maniac remake. Norval is such an odd but endearing character but Wood never makes him less than human, even during some of Come To Daddy’s more, um, extreme moments. Norval has a haircut that drives off ladies by the dozens and an already mentioned Hitler-iffic moustache, but that’s not the weirdest thing about him.

What Doesn’t Work With Come To Daddy

  • Like 2017’s Revenge, there are more than a couple of times when you wonder how the main character could still be alive considering what Norval goes through in a breezy 90 minutes of run time. You count a handful of times Norval should have been dead.
They've been standing like that for 45 minutes...

They've been standing like that for 45 minutes...

Overall

Watch Come To Daddy with whichever parents aren’t dead or eaten by an alligator. Or by yourself. Either way, it’s a bloody, off-kilter good time.

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