‘Come to Daddy’ is a Thriller Unlike Any Other

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Published August 29, 2020
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The Montclarion
Norval hides in a closet when things start to go haywire. Photo courtesy of Saban Films

Film director Ant Timpson had an idea when his father’s corpse was left in his house in a body bag in order to help with the grieving process. This idea soon became the inspiration behind his thriller film, “Come to Daddy.”

Timpson’s debut feature film follows Norval Greenwood, played by Elijah Wood, as he reunites with his estranged father and gets far more than he bargained for in the process.

“Come to Daddy” is filled with twists, dark comedy, amazing special effects and beautiful cinematography.

Although the film may seem like a simple familial drama at first, it quickly diverges into something completely different. It’s impossible to describe the twist without giving away major plot points, but the film definitely goes from zero to 100 in a matter of seconds.

Unlike twists in films such as “Parasite,” there are hints throughout the film’s beginning that foreshadow the storyline going haywire.

For example, Gordon, Norval’s father, “accidentally” breaks his son’s phone. Getting rid of cell phones or losing cell phone service is a typical horror trope that points at the direction the film will take.

No one in the movie tries to be funny or even sarcastic, but the humor is a prevailing theme throughout the film.

“Come to Daddy” maintains a layer of dark humor, even while everything about the story changes around it. There are several moments throughout the film that evoke laughter through awkward lines, dark situational humor and discomfort.

Some of the best jokes come from Norval lying about his career. He tells Gordon that he is an artist and produces “blazing beats.” Wood’s line delivery paired with the character’s awkward nature makes for a genuine comedic moment.

Elijah Wood plays Norval Greenwood in Amazon Prime&squot;s "Come to Daddy."

Elijah Wood plays Norval Greenwood in “Come to Daddy.”
Photo courtesy of Saban Films

Growing up, Timpson wanted to be a special effects artist in films. His passion for the topic shines in “Come to Daddy,” where Timpson oversaw what the film’s special effects artist, Tibor Farkas, did on set. This duo make the characters’ injuries and dead bodies look incredibly realistic.

As a writer, I’m always more focused on story than actual film elements. I can appreciate a story with good twists and turns, as well as a story with action and violence. However, what really stands out are the characters.

The main character shows little to no development, aside from becoming more violent. He goes from a mama’s boy who has accomplished nothing, to a mama’s boy who has accomplished murder. That is the end of his character arc.

The secondary characters have no development. This is supplemented with information revealed about them. There is no change, but the new information makes us view these characters differently.

Character development is very important to movies, in the horror genre or any other. In traditional horror movies, however, characters tend to be more static, to which it would have been nice to see some development, considering the father-son relationship in the background.

In spite of this, “Come to Daddy” is a great film. It’s nowhere near perfect, but I had fun experiencing the twist and turns. If you are looking for a movie to keep you on your toes, then look no further than “Come to Daddy.”

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