It’s a little hard to describe Come to Daddy as a movie itself, but it’s most certainly a genre film. It is Ant Timpson’s directorial debut after producing titles such as Turbo Kid and The Field Guide to Evil, and it really showcases his talent as a filmmaker we should look out for. After its Canadian premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival, it has become an insane yet highly entertaining crowd pleaser made for genre fans!
Timpson mixes a lot of genres into one flick, and he does it wonderfully. It stars Elijah Wood as Norval, who goes on a journey to reunite with his father (Stephen McHattie) after receiving a mysterious letter from him. He has not seen his dad for a very long time, and things start off really badly the moment he meets up with him. He even suspects that something is wrong with his dad, as he’s now a confused, alcoholic, and violent man. After that, lots of bizarre things start happening, and that’s the crazy premise of Come to Daddy in a nutshell.
Let’s start this review by saying that Wood is outstanding as Norval. He adds a lot of emotions to the film, which simply showcases his growth and phenomenal talent as an actor. As the movie progresses, he goes through a lot of character development while he’s uncovering the truth behind his mysterious father. It’s interesting to see him go from confusion to self-discovery. He has heart, and that’s the most compelling aspect of his performance. McHattie is also fantastic as Norval’s dad, and he steals the show whenever he’s on screen. While he’s obviously not a sympathetic or nice guy, he’s still one of the most intriguing characters of the entire movie. When these two are together, the audience will be deeply invested in their strange relationship.
Come to Daddy starts off a little slow as it’s trying to set up the family dynamics between Norval and his father. The first half makes you wonder where the movie is going, but then the second half really delivers. It’s asking the audience to pay attention, because it’s taking its time to build suspense as the story goes on. There are lots of surprising moments throughout, and you ultimately have to praise the filmmakers for not making the movie predictable. Also, it’s quite funny! Dark comedy is not an easy thing to do, but the director does it like a champ. You can tell that Timpson is not afraid to take some risks in some scenes since he’s willing to make his film as gritty, violent and/or mature as possible.
If there’s one word to describe Come to Daddy as a whole, it’s most certainly outrageous — and that’s not a bad thing at all. This is a terrific story about a man wanting to connect with his father with some crazy, emotional and hilarious moments from start to finish. If you’re a genre fanatic who loves seeing some unique features from talented and passionate filmmakers, this is the film for you. In fact, it’s also one of the best films of the year!