Released: 9th March 2018
Directed By: Brian Taylor
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair
Reviewed By: Van Connor
It’s time for brain matter to hit the white picket fence as Brian Taylor (of Neveldine/Taylor) returns with this infanticidal dark comedy that sees Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair as afflicted parents sent on a murderous rage against their own children.
Think The Purge meets an inverted Cooties, shot with all the intensity of 28 Days Later and given some added nostalgic seventies flare, and you’d be pretty close to approximating this gleefully gory OTT suburban romp.
Light on plot, but surprisingly all-in when it comes to character development, Mom and Dad retains the Neveldine/Taylor hallmark of leaning hard on its best assets and never forgetting to indulge its nastier sleazier sensibilities.
That character development, though, is Mom and Dad’s real win, taking what could have been a domestic take on Crank and elevating it into a far more intriguingly grizzly insight into the manner in which parenthood murders dreams, told through the astonishingly simplistic mechanism of actual parents attempting to murder their kids.
Of course, if you’re going OTT with a madcap murder caper, it’s essential to have the performer who knows how to utilise that madcap energy better than anyone else, and – despite his usual habit of utilising it badly – Cage proves an essential component to the success of Mom and Dad, his emotionally broken and downtrodden suburban dad worryingly sympathetic thanks to Taylor’s own screenplay knowing how to play the star in precisely the kind of gonzo manner that made him a star to begin with. Coupled with an enjoyable return to something mainstream for a post-Anger Management Selma Blair, it’s a good ol’ fashioned Cagefest like the joys of yesterday.
Some bombastic scoring by Mr. Bill, meanwhile, punctuates an eclectic stylistic pace by Taylor and editors Rose Corr and Fernando Villena, while cinematographer Daniel Pearl wrings some rather effective visuals from the beneath-the-surface suburban horror. Hilarious when it wants to be, brutal as all hell when it needs to be, Mom and Dad’s a thrilling dose of homebound homicide that’s not to be missed.