From the writer of The Greasy Strangler and not much else and technically by the producer of Mandy (Elijah Wood) and by the director of nothing but is the producer of Turbo Kid and Deathgasm, I bring you Come to Daddy.
If you are a fan of either of the films I’ve listed, stick around. I think you might like what I have to say about this crazy new thriller.
Now to talk about this film, spoilers are bound to pop up, especially once the crazy violent shit starts to happen, so maybe if you care to see this movie or just don’t feel like getting spoiled, come back later after you’ve seen the movie.
Okay, now that those losers are gone, lets talk about Come to Daddy.
I talk a bunch about Nic Cage picking these great horror films to star in, like Mandy and Color Out of Space, but I haven’t yet given Elijah Wood the proper shout out and credit he deserves.
Back in 2010, Elijah Wood started SpectreVision, a production company dealing mostly in horror genre related films. A lot of the times doubling as new starring projects for himself as well. Films like Cooties, Open Windows but also the aforementioned movies Mandy, Color Out of Space and The Greasy Strangler.
He’s got the horror bug and I can’t thank him enough.
Which now leads me to the film I’m here to talk about today. Come to Daddy, a film starring Elijah Wood and Stephen McHattie.
Now you might be wondering, well, I know who Elijah Wood is but who is Stephen McHattie? If you’re Canadian, I’m sure you know the name, as the guy seems to be in every single Canadian film ever made.
But you might also know him from A History of Violence where he got his face smashed in by a coffee pot by Viggo Mortensen.
But you might also know him from the amazing horror film Pontypool, where he plays a radio DJ reporting on a zombie outbreak.
I can’t remember where I first heard the name, but I can tell you, I’ve been a fan for many many years. Plus the guy pops up in just about everything, so eventually you’re going to be saying, hey, there’s that guy again! Who is he?
Elijah Wood plays Norval, a 30 something year old socialite who just took a bus ride to see his estranged father who he hasn’t seen since he was maybe 5 years old.
Out of the blue, he gets a letter from his absentee father that he needs to see him. Of course wanting to reconnect with his dad, Norval heads out to the middle of nowhere, to a beautiful home by a lake.
There he finally meets his father, played by Stephen McHattie. It doesn’t take long to realize that something is very off about him. Like Norval, you kind of brush it off as him being a drunkard and a recluse.
You also start to get the impression that maybe he isn’t all that into getting to know Norval, almost like him being there is a bit of a hindrance. But if that’s the case, why did he ask him to come all this way to see him?
The mystery thickens.
The two spend a little time together, trying to get to know each other. Norval brags about his life, how he’s a big time musician and has a personal relationship with Elton John. Which his dad calls his bluff on and claims hey, I too have a relationship with Elton too. We should call him and let him know about this strange coincidence.
Norval cracks, revealing he lied, he doesn’t know Elton John and he isn’t a big time artist.
With that out of the way, the two have dinner, wondering why Norval won’t drink with him, he reveals that he no longer drinks, he is a recovering alcoholic. Not only that, but he has had some serious issues with drugs, resulting his him attempting to commit suicide in a bath tub.
Norval stays the night, but keeps hearing strange sounds in the house but is unable to discern exactly where they are coming from.
He also overhears his father whispering to someone over the phone.
As the sun rises and a new day begins, the two decide to go for a swim, only to have a giant boulder drop close to Norval’s head. Did his father just try to kill him? Why?
They quickly brush past this and focus more on why Norval’s dad left him and their mother at such a young age. Refusing to answer, the argument gets more heated, resulting in his dad chasing after Norval with a cleaver.
The excitement is too much for him and has a heart attack, killing him instantly, still gripping the cleaver.
Not sure what the hell is going on, Norval of course calls the police, sending over their worst officer who decides if someone is guilty of something or not by the size of their eyes.
Norval has nice eyes but his father on the other hand has raisin eyes, a concerning feature that lets you know he was a rotten apple.
I know, a lot of fruit analogies, but you get my point… maybe… I still don’t get the point of the raisin eyes thing… I guess to let you know that his dad was a bad person. Which I think would be obvious with him wanting to kill him with a giant cleaver.
The coroner comes to pick up the body, but due to overcrowding at the morgue, Norval is forced to keep his father’s remains until he can make arrangements for him to be buried.
As Norval tries to sleep in the same house with his dead father, those strange noises start to echo through the house again. Fearing it might be his father, he checks on him, noticing the body bag has been unzipped.
Ghost dad? Is that you?
Falling victim to sadness, Norval takes to the bottle, having a drunken night with his dead dad, watching over him to see if he is still alive. Nope, still very dead.
As Norval searches the house, he discovers some old family photos hidden in a crawl space of the house. He flips through the photos, finds pictures of him as a baby and of his mom… then he notices some photos with him playing with a man.
It’s his father, yet that is not the man he met and thought was his father. Just who the hell is this guy?
The noises in the house start up again, forcing Norval to scour the house trying to locate where the sound is coming from.
The sound leads him to a giant metal door in the floor in the living room where the impostor died. Norval traverses down into the bomb shelter to discover his real father has been chained to the wall and beaten to a pulp, even missing an ear.
The ear thing was actually foreshadowed, as it was something Stephen McHattie bragged about doing once to a man by accident. We just didn’t realize at the time he was talking about Norval’s real father.
There’s a lot of that. Things you don’t think we’ll get answers to or seem at the time like plot holes, are all eventually answered. Like for example, why didn’t Stephen McHattie just kill Norval right away? Why put on this act, pretending to be his father?
Well, I think he did plan on killing him from the start, but was hesitant once he heard that Norval tried killing himself in a tub. The exact same way Stephen McHattie’s son in the film died. In a strange way he was able to reconnect with the son he lost.
Or at least be somewhat hesitant to try and kill him, since he reminded him of his boy.
Here is what’s going on. Norval’s dad is a crook. Him and a couple of his friends, Gordon who we met already pretending to be Norval’s father and Jethro, Norval’s father’s torturer, who has just concocted a new way to get Norval’s dad David to start talking. A pen covered in his shit.
Why are these men doing this? Norval’s dad David stole a large amount of money from his friends, and now they have tracked him down, looking for what’s left.
What they don’t know is, all that money went to Norval and his mother to live a comfortable life. There is no more money to squeeze out of him.
But they don’t know that, they also don’t know about Norval hiding in a closet as Jethro comes down to pay David a visit.
After stabbing David with the shit pen, Norval is found out, attacking Jethro with a dumbbell.
Jethro flees, promises he’ll return with backup.
Norval frees his dad and the two try to escape, but find a surprise waiting for them. A hulking Asian man named Dandy taking a shit. Seems to be a theme here.
Norval and Dandy fight it out, but surprisingly, Norval comes out the victor after stabbing Dandy in the balls multiple times with a barbecue fork. Then if that wasn’t humiliating enough, beats him to death with a roll of Saran wrap.
David, still weak from all the torturing, needs Norval’s help to walk and escape outside. They make it just in time to hide behind some rocks as Jethro shows back up with a crossbow. For an added effect, he even lights the arrow on fire.
They can’t just leave, seeing as Norval’s luggage has his mom’s address on it. Jethro finds the address and promises to pay Norval’s mom a visit.
Fearing he’ll kill her, Norval leaves his injured father behind and sneaks into the back of the trunk of Jethro’s car.
Needing a little stress reliever, Jethro stops by a motel where he calls a hooker to come pay him a visit.
Norval knows he has to kill Jethro, but isn’t sure how he can get the drop on him, as he is a big guy. But then again, so was Dandy.
Norval tries warning the hooker but she tells him to fuck off. His next option is to book a room right next to Jethro, but it seems the place is all booked up due to some local convention.
After slashing Jethro’s tires, he steals some motel keys and one of those spike receipt holders I’ve only ever seen used in movies featuring diners.
Norval sneaks into the adjoining room next to Jethro, but gets caught, alerting him. The hooker isn’t just a hooker but a dominatrix, into getting men into headlocks, which is what she does to Norval.
With his incapacitated, Jethro takes the spike and runs it through Norval’s face.
Assuming he killed him, Jethro goes to kill Norval’s mom.
Not yet dead, but still carrying the spike in his face, Norval runs after Jethro, only to find he has crashed his car into a sign, relieving him of half his head. Much like Norval, he’s still alive.
Putting him out of his misery, Norval uses the spike in his face to jab him in the open head wound in Jethro’s brain.
Norval makes it back to his father, only to find him succumbing to his injuries. The two finally get to share a moment together and that’s it. The end.
From the trailer, I wasn’t sure what to expect. And as the film went on, I still had no idea what to expect. Some have mentioned the plot twists were a bit predictable, but I had no idea where this was all going.
Elijah Wood was great as this kind of a weasel socialite, who later becomes this blood soaked killer. The last thing you’d ever expect from this guy.
The humor I also found to be spot on, as it wasn’t over the top or goofy and not so subtle that you aren’t getting any laughs at all.
Stephen McHattie was great as always, even though he is out of the picture about 30 minutes in.
The gore was over the top, something I’d expect from people connected with Turbo Kid and Mandy. But I was expecting it to be a bit more over the top and violent because of the connection to Turbo Kid and Mandy.
I found this film to be a fun little thrill ride, I highly recommend checking this one out and I give Come to Daddy and a SEE IT rating.
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