Movie Review: Humorous and Horrifying “Come to Daddy”

Photo Courtesy of Saban Films and Mongrel Media

Being the producer of such cult favorites as “Housebound” (2014) and “Turbo Kid” (2015), Ant Timpson takes the director’s seat with authority for his directorial debut in “Come to Daddy.” The film is a dark and twisted comedy, scattered with an entertainingly violent outlook with a dash of poo.

Norval Greenwood (Elijah Wood, Lord of the Rings trilogy) seeks out his father after receiving a mysterious letter asking for him to visit. After being estranged for nearly 30 years, Norval arrives at his father’s house, hoping to rekindle a relationship that for all intents and purposes, has died. He is greeted by a man (Stephen McHattie, Orphan Black, Immortals), that seems to have been beaten down by life and comes across as hating everyone, including Norval.

Norval tries to bridge the space between them with an outright lie and a tale that lands as merely a story filled with delusions of grandeur. Once Norval is challenged, he caves in, revealing a lack of self-respect and a sense of submission. This does not go over well in the house and the tension builds between the two.

Norval must figure out why his father has reached out to him all these years later, and what exactly is going on around him. The thing that disturbs him the most, however, are the sounds coming from under the house.

“Come to Daddy” takes place in a beach house for most of the film, which lends the beauty of nature to lighten this dark, satirical examination of the classic paternal abandonment trope.

Another thing the film has going for it is the cast. The characters are in no way one-dimensional, as you never really know their motivations for the way they are until the end. The twists show up at the right time, and even in the moments of brutal violence, Timpson elicits comedic release with either an expression from the character, or a camera movement revealing a huge “DUH” moment.

The film was nominated for Best Picture from 2019 Fantasy Filmfest, 2019 Molins Film Festival, 2019 Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, 2019 Sitges-Catalonian International Film Festival, and 2019 Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival. Of the nominations, the film won the Audience Award for Best Film and the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay at Molins. It snagged it’s third win at Neuchâtel with the Youth Jury Award.

“Come to Daddy” is currently available in limited theaters, and can also be purchased or rented on Amazon Prime Video; prices starting at $6.99.

Verdict: 4/5 Stars

Review by: Lee Frazier

At a Glance:

Title: “Come to Daddy”

STARRING: Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie, Garfield Wilson, Madeleine Sami, Martin Donovan, Michael Smiley, Simon Chin, and Ona Grauer.

WRITTEN BY: Toby Harvard and Ant Timpson

DIRECTED BY: Ant Timpson

PRODUCED BY: Firefly Films