COME TO DADDY – Elijah Does Loopy in Ant Timpson’s Debut

Elijah, oh Elijah – he never ages and I love him and his big blue eyes in anything, and COME DADDY is an out-there film, and it’s where he feels the most comfortable of late. I rented this one for $6.99 yesterday from iTunes and was I surprised at how insane it was. It wasn’t a wasted 7 bucks. It descends into madness pretty early and then you just follow kooky Elijah around.

COME TO DADDY had a brief screening at cinemas in Australia when it released in 2nd April – right as Coronavirus was starting to get heavy – I think cinemas closed that week. So, at least we get early home release for it from Umbrella Entertainment. It is rated MA15+ and runs for 96mins.

I would be forever grateful if you were a little patient with me. This is the first review I have attempted to write since I had a stroke 3 months ago. It actually took me a few days to write.

Come to Daddy Elijah Wood image
Elijah Wood

BY JASON KING

COME TO DADDY SYNOPSIS:

Norval’s life has been, to put it lightly, difficult. Currently living home with his mother, the troubled young man is coming off alcohol-related struggles. So when he receives an unexpected letter from his estranged father requesting a visit, Norval catches a bus up to his dad’s secluded and scenic waterfront home. Maybe reconnecting with his father will give Norval the emotional fulfilment he’s been lacking. Before long, though, he notices something off about his dad, an uneasy feeling triggered by inappropriate comments and a possible over-dependence on booze. Norval quickly realises that his hope of father/son bonding is doomed. Instead of a family reunion, he finds himself in a waking nightmare.

Come to Daddy Stephen McHattie & Elijah Wood image
Stephen McHattie & Elijah Wood

BRAVO ELIJAH’S EYES:

I think this is the first movie I can recall that they actually discuss his eyes and they’re still marvellous – he still looks gorgeous with a Middle Age’s monk haircut. It is an out there haircut as is his phone haha – but I’m not here to discuss Elijah for 20mins – well I could.

This is a horror comedy with some fantastic black comedy – one alcoholic joke from his evil father was hysterical. Norval literally just explains to his father that he is an alcoholic and he doesn’t drink. The menacing pour that follows is one of the best pieces of black comedy I have seen. Right from the second he meets his asshole father things don’t seem right in the seaside house where his father lives. I would kill for a place like that – all encompassing views are just wonderful. So wonderful – with a hidden torture room and we go on a journey down the rabbit hole.

This is the directorial debut of New Zealander Ant Timpson and it is marvellous debut even if I felt some of the quirky oddity goes a little too far. Ant’s credits as a producer include the cult movie THE GREASY STRANGLER and the horror anthology THE ABC’S OF DEATH. The film was inspired by the death of Timpson’s own father and Timpson’s subsequent caretaking of the embalmed corpse for five days on the suggestion of his father’s partner.

Towards the end – some of it goes too a little too far – but it’s intertwined with genius. I can’t really talk about it or I’ll ruin the surprises but OMG there is the best car accident death – I was like WTF!!!! Keep your eye on Ant – he has that edge that makes Taika so successful.

Come to Daddy Elijah Wood image
Elijah Wood

QUIRKY CINEMA:

COME TO DADDY is all Elijah with some brilliant support – namely Stephen McHattie (THE FOUNTAIN. WATCHMEN – 2009). He is brilliant and for a short performance he sets the film up from the brilliance that follows. He is just such a (there’s no other word to describe him) a perfect cunt. Martin Donovan (TENET, INHERENT VICE) also has a short role that is memorable – I love this guy for a role in the past but for the life of me can’t remember it. Maybe WEEDS, THE OPPOSITE OF SEX, anyway I digress. Garfield Wilson (MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE) had one scene and it was the bizarre “I can burp on command if that’ll make you laugh?.”

Then there’s Elijah – and he’s perfect in everything he does – the end. Hahaha

Technically the film shouldn’t be as good as it is for a debut but the cinematography by Daniel Katz is flawless as is the lighting, visual effects and editing. It’s a solid crew!

Come to Daddy Elijah Wood image
Elijah Wood

RUNNING INTO A TREE:

I found COME TO DADDY a great black comedy horror film starring one of my fave actors. It’s a loopy film and sometimes it goes too far – I mean what was the point of so many dicks in the hotel room? Haha. But I highly recommend it for some isolation viewing.

SALTY’S POP SCORE:

YOUR CRITIC:

Jason King owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. A movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict he is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the Australian movie industry for 26yrs. 

He believes all it takes to make a good movie is a bloody good story, with a little luck the rest should fall in line. He is getting a little sick of saying “story story story” in his reviews with so much shite releasing in the last decade. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.