A man heads to a remote house after being asked there by his estranged father…
Come To Daddy was the opening film of 2019’s London FrightFest festival and it was a hell of a way to start. The above synopsis doesn’t reveal much, but, as is often the case, that’s a good thing. When it comes to events like FrightFest, I don’t look at the trailers if I can help it, instead going by the guide and a gut feeling. Most of the time it works, but some times not.
In the case of Come To Daddy, I only knew what the guide said. That’s all anyone really needs as the less you know watching the film the better. It’s a film that takes some twists and turns, some you might see coming, some you might not, but it all adds up to a black comedy/thriller that is very good indeed.
The story reminded me of early Coen brothers work and also, to a degree the characters in the novels by Joe R Lansdale. Written by Toby Harvard, from an idea from director Ant Timpson, it’s a story that has great humour mixed in with scenes of violence that are brutal at times. Yet at its core there is an almost touching, emotional core of a son trying to reconnect with his father. It gives the film more heart than others of its type.
The cast are first rate. Elijah Wood is terrific in the lead role, Norval, who in a bid to impress his father embellishes his own life, but in the end has to dig deep, to find a side of himself he didn’t know he had. The supporting cast, headed by Stephen McHattie, Martin Donovan, Michael Smiley and Madeleine Sami are also very good indeed.
Ant Timpson, making his directing debut here, after working on many films in a producing capacity and shows great skill, drawing good performances from his cast and also handling the brief bloody violence well.
With it’s deft mix of humour and violence, but also with perhaps a touching emotional core in there, Come To Daddy was very good opening film for FrightFest 2019.
I liked it a great deal and would certainly recommend it.
Rating: **** out of 5