Come to Daddy is now available to stream and buy.
You know you are in for a bonkers ride when a film opens with quotes relating to fatherhood from both Shakespeare and Beyoncé, two figures you would hardly place in the same room regarding their views on life. However, this mix of classic and contemporary sums up New Zealand director Ant Timpson’s debut feature, Come to Daddy. Here classic comedy horror dovetails with a father/son drama in the family reunion from hell. Come to Daddy is not only incredibly dark and funny, but it’s also deliciously different, with a narrative split into three distinct acts.
Norval (Elijah Wood) is a troubled thirty-something recovering from an unhealthy relationship with alcohol while living with his mother. Here his pretentious DJ lifestyle hides his insecurity and fear of the world around him as he buys countless designer clothes and sports a less than flattering haircut. However, Norvel’s life is haunted by a father who disappeared when he was just a young child. But healing appears to be possible when a mysterious letter arrives from his long-lost dad, inviting him to meet after thirty years apart at a secluded beachside house.
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Fresh off a public bus, Norval finds himself trekking across beaches and woodland before finally finding his father’s home – a dilapidated UFO-shaped building hanging from the cliff’s edge. However, on reaching the door, there’s no warm welcome as his gruff alcoholic father (Stephen McHattie) invites him in with various expletives. As Norval’s last drops of respect vanish, he decides to challenge his father’s behaviour and leave. But all is not as it first seems, as Norvel finally faces off against the man who vanished from his life long ago.
Ant Timpson smartly pulls the rug from under your feet several times, leaving you wondering what could come next as the tension and macabre humour mount. The film swerves from comedy to comic book horror, with each twist more delicious than the last. As a debut feature, Come to Daddy is brave and bonkers, as Ant Timpson and lead writer Toby Harvard create a dark comedy full of devilish charm.
Director: Ant Timpson
Cast: Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie, Garfield Wilson, Martin Donovan, Madeleine Sami