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Monday, March 16, 2020

Mom and Dad (2018)



While prowling around the internet I stumbled upon the announcement that there was a new movie coming out starring Nicolas Cage. I can’t lie and pretend that I wasn’t interested. As bad as most of his recent outings have been there is some enjoyment out of seeing him overact and chew on the scenery. Then I read that Selma Blair was co-starring and that the movie was about an epidemic of parents killing their children. Now this has some potential!

Things start off nicely enough. Cage and Blair play the parents of a teenage daughter and elementary aged son. The movie follows the family on its normal day that is derailed by media coverage of kids being killed. This prompts the parents to track down their children to protect them… and of course as soon as they see the kids, they become homicidal. The daughter, Carly, jumps into action to protect her little brother with the aid of her boyfriend, Damon. Eventually Carly and her brother end up in the basement where Cage and Blair’s characters try to gas them by messing with the supply line to the furnace. They are so going to blow up their Dad!

Much mayhem and violence ensue. This includes the paternal grandparents showing up for a planned supper and going apeshit as well. I guess it doesn’t matter how old the kids are you just got to kill them all! Who could they possibly have cast as Cage’s father? God dang Lance Henriksen! Things get really crazy really fast with some kitchen cutlery and a prized muscle car. After some deaths and more terrible stuff happening the movie just sort of ends and does so in a perfect way.

I rather enjoyed Mom and Dad. There are some horrific and disturbing scenes in it. Oddly enough they don’t have much to do with gore. There is a scene in a hospital where Blair’s sister is giving birth and the buildup to giving her the baby to hold for the first time was gut-wrenching. The audience knows something bad is up, but the characters don’t. This also leads into a quick bit with fathers starring at their newborns thru the glass. The look on their faces is creepy as hell.

Cage is always awesome not matter how bad the movie.
When we finally get to the meat of the plot with the parents coming home to kill Carly and her brother it gets crazy. Mostly because Nicolas Cage is awesomely over the top. Dude is singing the Hokey Pokey while trying to kill them which is a call back to him being lovingly goofy early in the day. It was also really funny to see Mom and Dad fighting over him bringing a gun into the house that she didn’t know about. I mean the kids could get hurt! Sure, they are trying to kill them, but he needs to be responsible I guess? The dialogue and the normal conversational way that Cage and Blair deliver it only adds to how bonkers this whole setup and situation is.

Most of the kills are implied or off screen. You see a bit of gore, but this isn’t the kind of movie that is going to linger on it. The direction and editing are solid and keep the action moving along and slowly building tension. You can see something coming but aren’t sure what. In fact, the movie ends in a totally abrupt and surprising way. But I liked it a lot. The opening credits have a very retro feel to them and was a nice way to start off. I also noticed a lot of cool older songs that as a child of the eighties I really dug. The highlight for me was when Erasure’s Chains of Love pops on during a big fight in and around the muscle car. It was an odd choice but this is an odd movie so it works.

Honestly, I haven’t even scratched the surface with Mom and Dad. There are so many cool things going for this one that all I have left to say is check it out. Good flick that is worth your time.


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

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