When I sat down to watch Mom and Dad, I did not know I was sitting down to watch Mom and Dad.
It was a secret screening at the Alamo Drafthouse, apparently everyone there knew what was happening except for about me and five or so others, due to inner circles and all. I learned it was by Brian Taylor, who did the Crank films, Gamer, and the second Ghost Rider.
And believe you and me, if someone had told me before I bought the ticket, before I showed up, if I knew what it was and what it was about, I definitely would not have wanted to come.
A whole film about rich people eating breakfast and arguing?!
Brent (Nicolas Cage) and Kendall Ryan (Selma Blair) have been married and together for decades, so of course they have two kids. Before hand, Brent used to be quite the wild guy. Sowing his seed, driving his muscle car, loud music, athletic and more. Kendall had career aspirations, travel plans and general life goals, but then out came Carly (Anne Winters).
One wasn’t enough, and they waited way too long because they also had Josh (Zackary Arthur) many years later. So much that Carly is a sophomore in high school now, and Josh is confusingly aged. I mean, I guess he isn’t in kindergarten yet, but also, he is clearly like 9 or 10. Odd.
Needless to say, both kids can be buttholes. They have ruined their parents lives by merely existing. The daughter is stereotypically bitchy and hating of her parents, the boy is just super annoying, messy, and ruining his dad’s stuff.
This is a lot of introduction to say, that HOLY SHIT. SOMETHING HAPPENS, A TERRORIST ATTACK, BIOLOGICAL OR TECH, WHO KNOWS. But the instincts that parents have to protect and go to great lengths for their kids, get reversed, so that they only want to kill their kids, at all possible, no regrets at all.
Yep, a lot of family on family death is about to go on.
Nicolas Cage at his cage-iest.
Since the birth of my daughter, parent/kid things in film, heartfelt moments and the like, they have all made me sadder. I cry all the time. When I found out where this movie was going, I was absolutely horrified. I mean, could I handle it? Did I need to get up and leave?
In reality, I only really needed to put my hands in front of my eyes in frightful anticipation only a few times, but especially during the hospital scene. The flashbacks in the film were very helpful, breaking up the very fast pace of the film, to give us some strangely touching scenes with Cage/Blair.
Okay let’s back up. Early in the film, you could tell something very strange and new was happening. The shots were so quick and dynamic, with lens flares, for seemingly regular ordinary things. It really put the viewer on a state of panic early on, even if there was only one bad thing to happen at the start. It helped lead up to the dread and panic that was to come, allowing the viewer to transition nicely into the full on freak out mode.
And let me iterate, I think the idea behind this film is terrible. And terrifying. Extremely fucked up. It took me many months into 2017 before I reached the most fucked up film of that year (mother!), but I can’t imagine anything topping this one, and it is two goddamn weeks into the next year! The reason I am mainly giving it a higher review because it definitely frightened me, it made me feel, and it didn’t get extremely exploitative at the same time.
Oh, some exploitative, sure. Just not extremely exploitative.