Come to Daddy (2019) Movie Review

Director: Ant Timpson

Writer: Toby Harvard (Screenplay)

Starring: Elijah Wood, Stephan McHattie, Garfield Wilson, Madeleine Sami, Martin Donovan, Michael Smiley

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

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Twist Filled

Story: Come to Daddy starts when Norval (Wood) goes to his estranged father’s Gordon (McHattie) remote cabin to visit for the first time in years, it doesn’t start off smooth, with Norval feeling unwelcomed, trying to figure out what is father wants with this visit.

When the two get into an argument, Norval finds himself needing to look more into the past of his father, which slowly uncovers a bigger mystery, one with terrifying truths he wasn’t ready for.

Thoughts on Come to Daddy

Characters – Norval is a 30-year-old man that has received a letter from his estranged father in his remote cabin, this doesn’t go well as he finds out he doesn’t have the same connection he had hoped, only when things take a dramatic turn, when he learns what is really going on in the cabin and must do anything to protect his mother. Gordon is the Norval’s father waiting to spend time with him, only he doesn’t show the compassion Norval has hoped, he is heartless towards him, which only ends up showing an even darker side to him. Jethro is a connection to Norval’s father, he will kill anybody who gets in his way. Brian is a man that is discovered by Norval, he has a bigger story that might add everything up more for Norval.

PerformancesElijah Wood is wonderful in the leading role of the film, he does show the innocent side to his action, who is pushed to new limits by the events, each proving to be more shocking than the last. Stephen McHattie and Martin Donovan in the support roles are strong in the supporting roles, with Michael Smiley getting plenty of the extra laughs.

StoryThe story here follows a 30-something year old that goes to visit his estranged father, only for this trip to take an unexpected twist along the way, one he couldn’t imagine happening. When we look at this story, we know with it being a horror comedy, we are going to get some twists along the way, this story doesn’t disappoint and takes us in directions we couldn’t have imagined, with each twist feeling genuinely surprising. We don’t want to get too involved with what happens, because it does leave plenty to surprise us with, though deep down we are getting into the ideas of dealing father son relationship with the father leaving the son early in his life.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy often comes from Norval’s reactions to everything, along with how Michael Smiley acts through the film, the horror does come from the twist into the story, which does put Norval into a world he never expected.

SettingsThe film does keep a lot of the film set in the remote cabin, only for secrets to be discovered the longer we are there, when we leave it does hold the film back at times.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong with most being injury infliction which looks as brutal as it is meant to.

Scene of the Movie – The kitchen fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The change in Norval seems too realistic, like he was waiting to be allowed to do this.

Final Thoughts This is a cool, horror comedy, which does show us how to keep a story twist a secret and surprise the audience when it is unleashed upon everyone.

Overall: Fun, Shock Filled Horror.

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – # – 1917 (2019) Movie Rob’s Pick

Head Over to Movie Rob’s Site for more reviews

George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman in 1917 (2019)“But, chin up. There’s a medal in it for sure. Nothing like a scrap of ribbon to cheer up a widow.” – Lieutenant Leslie

Number of Times Seen – 3 (2 Jan 2020, 2 Feb 2020 and 26 Mar 2020)

Link to original review – Here and Here

Brief Synopsis – Two soldiers are sent on a dangerous yet essential mission during World War I where they must try and stop an attack before it happens because high command believes that it is a trap.

My Take on it – When trying to choose a second film to watch for this month’s theme, my first instinct was to watch this movie again.

Unfortunately due to the world wide Corona Virus Outbreak, all of our lives have been put in to disarray and I had to drop my plans of rewatching this while needing to acquaint myself with the new realities of working at home with 4 kids home from school all day.

After a week of trying to find some kind of semblance of a schedule for myself, I was able to find time to rewatch this film.

This is a film that is made for the theatrical experience, but it still works almost as well on a screen at home.

They do an amazing job giving us a simple war story that is quite poignant and works on so many levels in order to give us such a profound experience again and again.

The film’s use of a single track shot helps allow the viewer to feel the story in a very unique way that is both intimate and personal and remains focused on the actions of these characters especially given the fact that we get to only see a very small event within the larger sum of the actions during war.

The film is paced really well and the way it moves along allows us to get a close look at all of the horrors of war along with the good deeds that can happen along that journey.

They show us the camaraderie of brothers in arms in these difficult situations while at the same time allowing us to see the brutality of war.

The way that the story is presented allows us to use all of our senses to try and experience this story on a whole new level.

The film is quite detailed and they paint a very realistic picture of the gruesome aspects of war but that helps make things feel so much more alive and genuine the whole way through.

They even give us the impression that we can smell the stench of battle by using visual techniques like lots of flies on a dead animal that can trick us into believing that we can smell the rotting corpses due to the way that we can get so emotionally involved in all that is happening.

The way that they shot this film makes us feel as if we are right there with the characters in the thick of the battle and that allows for things to feel even more suspenseful because it takes away the distant feel that most films have and that enables us to feel even more involved in all that transpires here.

It has been 6 weeks since the Oscars and I’m still disappointing that despite this film winning 3 technical awards, it undeservingly lost the two biggest prizes of Best Director and Best Picture.

I truly believe that in a few years when we look back in hindsight at the nominees in both of those categories, we will see that this film will age much better than any of the other nominated films and wonder what the voters were thinking when they sent in their ballots in a similar fashion to what we all think about Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Shakespeare in Love (1998) 22 years after those films vied for the top award at the Oscars.

Bottom Line – Amazingly poignant war film that works on so many levels. The one track shot of the film gives us a very intimate and focused look at parts of the sum of the situation during a war.  The story moves along at a great pace and allows us to take in all of the things that occur during war. We get to see the camaraderie of brothers in arms while at the same time get to see the brutality of war.  This movie also allows us to get the feeling that we can use all of our senses while watching the story unfold.  The sights shown can be gruesome at times and the attention to detail helps make things come alive and feel so realistic the whole way through. We even get the impression that we can also smell the stench of this battlefield because we get so emotionally involved with this story as it moves along.  The way that the film is shot makes us feel as if we are right there in the center of the action with these characters and that helps make things even more suspenseful because they are able to take away the distant feeling that is used in most films.  This film was very deserving of its 3 technical Oscar but even after two months, I’m still disappointed that it lost Best Director and Picture because I think it was the most worthy film of the nominees in both categories. I think that with time as a factor, we will view this film in hindsight as being the very best of the year.  Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Sam Mendes (director) and Lee Smith (editor) stated that despite the apparently continuous shot (broken only by one interval of unconsciousness), there were actually dozens of “invisible” edits, concealed by transitions through black, moves behind objects, and so on. According to Mendes, the shortest unbroken shot was 39 seconds long, while the longest single continuous shot was 8 1/2 minutes long. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

ABC Film Challenge – Favourite Films – # – 2012

ABC Film Challenge

Favourite Films



Why I’ve Picked this choice – I have always been a fan of disaster movies, when it comes 2012, we have the granddaddy of them all with a disaster film that turns to full scale destruction of the Earth and one that people can’t just get away from, we have every type, volcanoes, tidal waves and ice storm just to mention a few, which makes this such a big movie.

If we look at the cast, where do we start with the quality here, John Cusask, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover just mention a few.

If you were going for a full blown destruction movie, this is one that even at two and half hours long just flies by.