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Ant Timpson
Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie, Garfield Wilson
Writing Credits:
Toby Harvard

A man in his thirties travels to a remote cabin to reconnect with his estranged father.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 3/24/2020

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Come to Daddy [Blu-Ray] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 30, 2020)

With ginormous eyes right out of a Keane painting and a cherubic face, Elijah Wood never seemed likely to earn leading man status. However, I didn’t anticipate that our favorite hobbit would eventually embrace horror.

With films like Maniac and Cooties under his fairly recent belt, that looks to be Wood’s path. He continues in this vein via 2020’s Come to Daddy.

30-something Norval Greenwood (Wood) struggles with alcohol dependency and he lives with his mother. His father Gordon (Stephen McHattie) abandoned them decades earlier, and Norval enjoyed no contact with his pops since then.

Out of the blue, Norval receives an invitation from Gordon to visit him in his lovely cabin on the coast. Norval dreams of a warm, loving visit with his long-lost dad, but the reunion takes a darker than expected turn.

Or plenty of unexpected turns, as it happens. After a first act that sticks mainly with psychological drama, Daddy shifts tones and gets weirder and more overtly violent.

Although I called Daddy a horror film earlier, it doesn’t follow a traditional genre path. While it certainly includes many horror-like elements, it also embraces other elements of thrillers and black comedy.

None of which it manages to depict in a convincing, organic manner. Daddy feels like a series of nutty plot twists and weird characters in search of a coherent movie.

Alas, it never finds that coherence, as it becomes a messy melange of odd moments and not much else. Alternately morose, silly, creepy and wacky, the film throws too much into the blender.

Perhaps a strong director could’ve held all this together, but Ant Timpson doesn’t seem to be that person. Rather than create a forceful identity for Daddy, Timpson cobbles together ideas from other filmmakers to give us a movie packed with influences and not much more.

For the first act, Daddy shows potential, mainly via the tense energy between Norval and Gordon. McHattie seems to channel Gary Cole’s Reese Bobby from Talladega Nights, and this creates an unsettling disconnect with Wood’s bottled-up take on Norval.

In particular, we wait for the other shoe to drop. We know a twist will come, and we find ourselves curious to discover that curveball.

Unfortunately, when the plot zinger arrives, it lacks the necessary impact. Oh, on paper, the movie’s twists sound appealing, but as depicted, they feel strangely toothless.

Before long, we find ourselves in a world packed with characters and scenes out of Coen and Tarantino movies. Nothing logical happens, as Daddy instead prefers gratuitous violence and self-consciously oddball personalities.

These fail to bring us a tale with substance or real intrigue. Instead, Daddy wanders down a goofy path that lacks satisfaction in the end.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D-

Come to Daddy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect mainly positive visuals here.

Sharpness appeared good. A few interiors could be a little soft, but the movie displayed nice clarity and definition most of the time. Jagged edges and moiré effects failed to appear, and I also noticed no edge haloes or print flaws.

In terms of palette, Daddy favored teal and/or orange much of the time. These hues seemed fine within the visual choices.

Blacks appeared full and dense, while low-light shots gave us acceptable clarity. Nighttime shots tended to seem a bit murky, but not to a substantial degree. Overall, I felt pleased with the transfer.

Though not packed with action, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack accentuated the story. Most of the livelier moments related to environmental moments, so those managed to use the spectrum in a decent manner. Otherwise, the film emphasized creepy ambience and not much more.

Within those confines, sound quality satisfied. Music was full and rich, while effects demonstrated nice clarity and accuracy.

Speech came across as crisp and natural. The mix didn’t do much beyond atmosphere but it seemed fine.

The disc opens with ads for Jay & Silent Bob Reboot and Tone Deaf. No trailer for Daddy - or any other extras – shows up here.

A mix of thriller, horror and oddball black comedy, Come to Daddy never finds a groove. It throws a lot at the wall and little of it sticks. The Blu-ray brings generally positive picture and audio but it lacks supplements. Despite some promising moments, Daddy fails to engage.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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