Mom and Dad (2017)

January 16, 2018 - 6:00pm | FrighT MasteR

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Brian Taylor
Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters, Olivia Crocicchia, Zackary Arthur

This marks Brian Taylor's directorial debut away from his co-writing/directing partner Mark Neveldine, both of whom worked on really fast paced no-brainer action flicks like the Crank movies, so you kind of get an idea on how the pacing will be for this flick. Speaking of, if there was ever a role for Nic Cage to finally let loose and go completely batshit insane it's this one, especially since it's actually integral to the storyline for once.

The story is a pretty simple one: Parents in a small suburban town have all gone mad for no apparent reason and have turned violent against their own children. And there's really not much more to the story other than that. We don't get an explanation as to why or how the parents have turned on their offspring, they just do. Once we near the end of the first act all hell breaks loose, resulting in a violent and highly amusing montage of parents going apeshit on their kids (and is also the best part in the entire movie).

This eventually leads to our young protagonists (the offspring of Nic Cage and Selma Blair) trapping themselves in the basement of their own home in a poor attempt to escape the 'rents. The rest of the movie is played out in the house, as the Cage and Blair try to scheme up ways to get through the basement door and kill the kids.

I'm a fan of films involving people going crazy and violent against each other for whatever reason, so I went in expecting to like this to some extent. Unfortunately that wasn't the case since I had a hard time actually getting into it. My biggest complaint is the film's uneven tone, where the movie would constantly shift from being silly one minute and completely serious the next. That's made even worse by the poor editing, where the director attempts to bring that kinetic quick paced editing from the Crank movies, which in those movies made sense to have given the storyline, but here it's the filmmaker's weak attempt at showing how chaotic and crazy these people are.  

I've seen the movie described as something along the lines of a "twisted Home Alone", but there's really no comparison between the two. It's not like the kids here are coming up with a bunch of imaginitive gadgets and ingenious ways to outsmart their attackers. Sure there's one scene where they outsmart their parents, but that's about it. Next to that they're just doing what they can to survive, I.E. mostly running away.

As we near the film's climax I expected some sort of explanation as to WTF is going on, but nope. The movie simply ends, leading me to question was there even a script here? It seemed like the filmmakers were simply going off an idea and then told Nic Cage to be himself and somewhere along the way they figured they'd attempt to piece together a semi-cohesive story. Either way, it's not all bad--there's an amusing scene later on when the grandparents stop by, and hey, at least the film kept my interest from the start.

Insane is the best way to describe this movie, which to me simply exists as a vehicle for Nic Cage to finally be himself. Next to that there's no real script here, so if you want some answers to the many questions brought up in the movie, don't expect any. However, if you simply want to watch a semi-amusing film where adults are violent against their own kids for no apparent reason, this is the movie for you.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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