Come to Daddy

Daniel O'Sullivan | 8/04/2020

Elijah Wood leads an exceptional cast through this thriller/comedy oddity of a film that never quite melds together.

Receiving a letter from his estranged father seeking to reconnect, music mogul and certified man-child Norville Greenwood (Elijah Wood) arrives at his father's secluded coastal home in the hopes of repairing their long-dead emotional connection. What Norville hopes to be a pleasant father-son reunion slowly develops into a fight for survival as secrets are revealed, relationships are tested, and a body count rises.

Making his directorial debut, director Ant Timpson and screenwriter Toby Harvard succeed at bringing both the thrills and laughs throughout this dark and twisted film. Though it begins at a snail’s pace in order to set the tone and establish its characters, the film eventually ramps up to 11 by providing twist after twist that’s sure to keep the audience on their toes, though the sheer number of plot contrivances (which could be jarring for some). The script is filled to the brim with both uncomfortably dark humour and creepy thriller chills that succeed when they are implemented, but never quite feel like they fully compliment the other in a satisfying way.

Sure enough, Elijah Wood provides an exceptional performance as the privileged man-child that is simply trying to reconnect with his father, however is forced into impossible circumstances that push him to his absolute limits. Whether it’s facing certain death or an awkward dinnertime conversation with his estranged father, Wood’s acting talent is on full display. The supporting cast also does an outstanding job, with Stephen McHattie playing a distant and slightly deranged absentee father to near perfection.

Lastly, Come to Daddy’s technical aspects are one of the highlights of the film. Each second of its 93-minute runtime implements masterful camerawork that provides intensity and subtlety, a score by Karl Steven that gives the entire film an eerie uncertainty, and a set design that really highlights the feeling of isolation.

Conclusion

Combining dark twists with even darker humour, Come to Daddy struggles with tone and pacing issues, but is ultimately an enjoyably absurd time.