Mom and Dad
A tedious, amateur, low-rent exercise in comedy horror, Mom and Dad doesn’t wear its D-grade, bargain-bin tropes on its sleeve, so much as scream them in your face. It will be a strong contender for the worst film of 2018.
Writer-director Brian Taylor (Crank, Gamer) makes loud, dumb pictures. They revel in their loudness and dumbness, all jackhammer score and gimmicky, erratic quick cuts. Mom and Dad introduces its premise (an unknown, radio-born virus drives all parents into a state of violent frenzy, in which they seek to murder their own children) and then slams the viewers’ heads in the door with its ham-fisted attempts at satire (“suburban life is boring!”, “adulthood is disappointing!”). Taylor clearly yearns for Mom and Dad to match up to The Room’s level of awfulness, perhaps playing the midnight slot at film festivals, praised for its sub-par gonzo glee. But it misses- by a wide berth- even the simplest satirical beats struck by the likes of The Purge, its mean-spiritedness stripping it clean of any guilty pleasure.
In the title roles, Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair are admittedly game. But the film’s sole marketing ploy has been to dupe viewers and critics into believing Cage’s role and performance are an example of self-aware, B-grade insanity. Not so. Saddled with eye-wateringly poor dialogue in flashback scenes aimed to pad out the torture porn sequences, these are soap opera- not operatic- performances. At times, it’s difficult to believe the two fading stars are actually in this picture; its scattershot editing- which jumps from 70s-style intro cards to a hyperkinetic pre-2000s action aesthetic, then to a cable TV drama- feels like the unfinished work of a film school student rushing to complete their thesis assignment. It’s ugly, uninspired and dull: don’t bother paying Mom and Dad a visit.
Mom and Dad is released nationwide on 2nd March 2018.
Watch the trailer for Mom and Dad here: