Imagine if someone figured out how to manipulate the parental instinct – you know, the one that would put a mother or father in front of a bus to protect their child – and turn it into something sinister. Imagine if all that love parents feel, that need to watch out for their child, could be turned into murderous rage focused entirely on their offspring.
Welcome to Mom and Dad.
Having a mid-life crisis used to mean buying a sports car or getting a piercing. For dad Nicolas Cage and mum Selma Blair (and all the other parents in their neighbourhood), however, it’s been taken to a whole new bloody and riotous extreme. Something has happened to all the parents. They are turning on their children, fueled by an unexplained bloodlust and a frenzied need to kill those they brought into the world.
As the children do all they can to avoid being killed by their parents, the parents just come up with even more inventive ways to kill them. And with the majority of the adults otherwise engaged, there are few remaining to actually figure out just what has happened to all the parents. All the children can do is hide, run, fight back… or die.
Mom and Dad follows one family, led by Cage and Blair, as the older teenage daughter Carly (Anne Winters) tries desperately to keep herself and younger brother Josh (Zackary Arthur) alive, despite the many ways Mom and Dad come up with to kill them. Stuck in the family home, it all comes down to who has the most patience and which of the pairs can outsmart the other first.
The tone of this insane piece of filmmaking from Brian Taylor is a hard one to pin down. It’s funny and silly yet also incredibly twisted. It’s full of blood and gore that is as intimate as it is outrageous and shocking. There are plenty of frights and it can get pretty grim, yet even with the added humour it also somehow manages to not fall too far into farce.
Cage and the rest of the cast are clearly having an absolute blast making this film and that really carries through. (Cage singing the hokey cokey song while using a hammer to smash up the place is pure cinematic heaven in and of itself.)