REVIEW: Mom and Dad (2017)

Directed by Brian Taylor, Mom and Dad revolves around a mysterious outbreak that causes all parents to commit filicide. At the centre we have Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair attempting to do just that.

Looking back on what the worst of cinema in 2018 has to offer, Mom and Dad is a unique case as it is easily one of the most enjoyable, if not the most enjoyable bad movie to be released this year.

The concept for this movie has potential for a solid horror movie, but when one half of the directing duo that gave us the Crank movies and the abysmal Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is involved, a hack job is likely guaranteed.

The first 40 minutes of Mom and Dad is a genuinely execrable borefest. The plot makes no sense, the editing is embarrassing, the sound design is some of the worst I’ve heard all year and the direction is an unbridled mess.

So this disease in the movie apparently stemmed from a disease contracted by pigs? And somehow made its way onto every television screen in the US? The more I think about it, I’d rather not know how that correlation was made.

Where the movie gets going is when we see Nicolas Cage sledgehammering a pool table while singing the ‘Hokey Pokey’. The scene itself completely negates the ‘outbreak’ setup as both Brent and Kendall are pretty fed up of being parents.

Every issue that plagued the first half is still prevalent in the second half but it embraces an anarchic comedic identity as we see Nicolas Cage tripping, falling, growling, crying all over the place trying to kills his kids. Cage’s performance was at a ‘Homer Simpson’ level of ridiculous.

This whole movie really does feel like a ‘Treehouse of Horror’ Simpsons episode, which can be taken as a positive or a negative, I’m taking it as both because it’s just so obscenely crafted yet so funny when we see Cage and Blair constantly failing to kill their kids.

I suppose the movie does work as a comedy in a way but the unbearable sound design, unbridled momentum, choppy pacing and nonsensical setup detrimentally emasculates it as a real comedy.

It was a strangely paradoxical experience that has admittedly led to difficulty in writing about it, but movies like this ought to be illuminated for what they are: paradoxes. It’s one of the worst movies I’ve seen this year but it’s also one of the funniest. It’s only 77 minutes long, and I recommend it for the unintended comedy.

Written by Seán Mac G.

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