Mom and Dad (2018)

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From the opening credits you know this is going to be silly fun, wearing its influences on its sleeve, as it boasts the most 70’s credits sequence ever. In fact, were it not for the use of mobile phones, you’d be forgiven for thinking this was set in the 70’s. It has that similar  kind of aura to it. The set up is quite similar to Shaun of the Dead more than anything. Everyone is going about their daily lives, the banal morning routine, getting ready for work, interspersed with stranger and stranger news reports. It turns out that parents are trying to kill their children. Regardless of what age they are. It seems to be triggered by some sort of interference on the TV and radio, but is never elaborated upon properly.

The subtext is as subtle as a brick, as we see scenes and flashbacks about the characters having a midlife crisis, envious and resentful of their kids, doing what they used to be able to get away with, but are now too old or too married. Or just how entitled their kids can be, as they were never that way when the were that age… Even in-built obsolescence is touched upon. What better metaphor for how shite ageing is, than comparing it to a phone that’s purpose built to be replaced by something new and better a little ways down the line.

While there are some delightfully sinister and gory moments, Mom and Dad is pretty much played for laughs. There is one particular scene in a hospital which completely goes against the grain however, which probably would have worked better were this a straight up horror movie, but as it’s more or less a comedy it perhaps seems a little too much in contrast to the rest of the film.

Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage seem to relish their roles as the titular unhinged maniacs, trying by any means necessary to off their offspring. Most of this takes place in the normally safe confines of the family home, and at times it feels like we’re watching a more violent Home Alone movie (in the best possible sense). Here we’re shown more flashbacks to contrast with the current situation and what these things mean to those characters now and then. There’s also a cracking electronic score accompanying the film,which is reminiscent of John Carpenter and Goblin, just in case you didn’t already know the influences behind the film. A great film but don’t expect any scares.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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