The new year means new resolutions, and if you’re like many others trying to assuage unwarranted guilt, you probably vowed to make an effort to spend more time with your family in 2019. Tonight’s twisted tale of torment and terror courtesy of Brian Taylor may convince you to abandon that aspiration sooner than later!
If you don’t recognize the moniker I won’t penalize you, but Taylor is one half of the pairing behind the “Crank” movies and has worked previously alongside Nicholas Cage on “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” which, despite the psychotic pedigrees present, went over about as well as that time my alcoholic uncle thought it would be funny to piss in my cousin’s NES. He wasn’t laughing the next morning when the video rental store made him pay up $60 to replace the Friday the 13th cartridge that was in it at the time. His membership card then got scissored harder than one of the new pledges at the Submission Sorority, so I hope you’ve all learned something from this.
Speaking of the evils that adults do, Mom and Dad is an extreme entry into the “kids vs. adults” horror sub-subgenre, sharing shelf space with classics like Parents and Rabid Grannies. Given that Taylor’s prior productions are about as disassociated from the term “subtle” as the English language will allow, spoilers aren’t exactly going to, you know, spoil anything as the synopsis will tell you all you need to know.
One perfectly perfect day (in every way), for no a-parent (PUN!) reason, a suburban community’s parental populace flips their fucking lids and begin violently assaulting their own offspring! To be fair, some instances aren’t assaults so much as they are cases of extreme negligence, but whatever the fatal means of abuse, these mothers and fathers have turned into Child Protective Services’ worst nightmare. It’s not unlike The Happening, except their suicides are of the extroverted kind! Savvy? Surely.
Nicholas Cage and Selma Blair play one such pair of parents, both struggling with their own mid-life crisis when they become overwhelmed by the sinister urge to join the progeny purge. It’s up to the couple’s daughter Carly (a 14-16yo whose tiny school uniform skirt gets REALLY uncomfortable to look at from certain camera angles *barf*) and footy-pajama-ed “why the Hel isn’t this kid in school?!” younger son Josh to either kill or be killed in the perfect “survival of the fittest” film for family movie night!
The Evil Dead Bride and I really enjoyed this movie. Cage’s manic bi-polar performance as a middle-aged man already on edge now pushed to utter psychotic break down is just what the man does perfectly, and the nearly deadpan performance by Blair’s wife-mother character plays off her manic mate magically. Taylor’s kinetic “music video” style rubs some the wrong way, but given the perilous pace the picture builds up to, it’s a style that fits the flick tonally. Lots of fun for childless anti-procreation types like ourselves!
Oh, and Robert Cunningham? Love that dude. If I had a daughter, I’d want her to date a guy like his character, Damon. I wish I’d been that cool and capable in high school, damn it.
Four Boxes of Plan B out-of-Five
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