Wednesday, January 31, 2018

[Review] Mom and Dad

Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair star in the not-so-wholesome film, Mom and Dad. It's an alarmingly abrasive, viciously stylized, darkly comedic slice of parental horror, and well... it's kind of awesome.

The plot hovers around a teenager (Anne Winters) and her little brother (Zackary Arthur). Everything in their suburban neighborhood is seemingly normal until some type of unknown force causes parents to turn ferociously violent on their own kids. When it takes hold of their own parents (Cage and Blair), the two siblings must face off against them in a fight for survival.

When a movie begins with Nic Cage doing the tickle monster, you know you're in for something batshit. This thing is insane, unhinged, grisly, bloody, and yes--chuckleworthy. The film is very much in the same vein as other subversive humans-gone-wild horror hybrids like the recent Cooties and Prevenge. But as ridiculous as the premise may be, there's also a clever layer to it, elevating the film above shallow shock-driven spectacle (even though it would still be really amusing if that were the case). Thematically, the narrative rips the bandages off of adult disappointments and parental anxieties. It's like a midlife crisis in slasher flick form.

Oh, and then there's Nic Cage's performance. He nearly outdoes himself here (and that's saying a lot). He goes from 0-100 within the blink of an eye, aggressively shuffling through every range of emotion -- from bawling to rage. In the second half of the movie he pretty much launches into a permanent stage of Cage yell mode, dropping F-bombs and shit-bombs left and right, while shooting off memorably ridiculous lines like "It's not a mancave, Kendall!" At one point he even sings a mock version of the hokey pokey. If you've ever wondered what would happen if Nic Cage were cast in The Shining instead of Jack Nicholson, this is it.

( 8/10 )

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