Where do I begin with Come to Daddy? I have no idea where to start with this film. This film wasn’t anything I thought it’d be when I first read the listing for it my TriBeCa handbook. I then decided to go into producer Ant Timpson’s, producer of The Greasy Strangler, directorial debut about a man who goes and visits his estranged father only to be met with disturbing circumstances with a mix of excitement and trepidation. For one of the very few times in my life was I able to head into this film 100% free of any trailers, preview clips, or spoiler-free reviews on trusted horror cinema sites & podcasts. So when I sat down in a surprisingly packed critics screening I had absolutely no idea about what I was going to see.
I can safely say that even though it’s been close to a week since I saw the movie, Come to Daddy has still stuck with me and won’t let me forget any of the maddening, genre bending, sickening, laughter and confusion inducing content present in its 90 minute runtime. The film focuses on Norval, a hipster musician visiting his absentee father up at his secluded beach front property. From minute one, Norval’s dad does very little to convince his son (or us for that matter) that he is a trustworthy individual. Very quickly small awkward moments become overtly sinister, and it quickly becomes clear that while Norval might have been hoping for some closure from his father what he ended up getting is far from anything he (or me as a viewer) could have suspected. That synopsis right there is pretty much all I can divulge because to go any further would spoil some of the major twists, turns and reveal that this film has up its sleeve.
This film was truly one of the most unpredictable experiences I have had in recent memory and my fellow audience members seemed to agree with me. From the nearly unbearable suspense of the early stages to the non-stop madness of the latter half of the film, my theater was full of reactions that ranged from nervous murmuring to pained groans to awkward/hysterical laughter. The critic behind me said it best when he stated quite audibly “What in the h*ll happened to this movie?!” To me that really says it all.
The gore effects are also a treat as despite the ridiculous circumstances surrounding them, every violent act in this film boasts a hardy amount of blood, stabbing, shanking, mutilation and more cringe inducing imagery than I could ever do justice in a written review. Come to Daddy is a tonally conflicting, suspenseful, gory thrill ride that takes your brain for a long ride in a bender set on frappé, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I enjoyed it for all its sick, awkward and offbeat glory. Every so often you need to see a film that is going to test your fortitude for gore, violence and even dramatic tonal shifts. Come to Daddy certainly did that. Once available for general consumption I highly recommend everyone go see Come to Daddy.