Tribeca 2019 – Review: COME TO DADDY Teeters Between Reality And A Fever Dream

FIRST IMPRESSION

This debut feature film is genre filmmaking at its finest, and once it goes off the rails, it never stops for a second until it reaches its surprisingly poignant finale.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Come To Daddy takes many forms in its short runtime, yet none of the characteristics it contains drag it down. Even though it goes off the rails at times, it feels wholly in tune with the film as a whole. And for a film that includes kidnapping, swingers, and a torture method involving a pen covered in human feces, that’s truly a feat to behold. Ant Timpson’s debut is many things, yet convoluted is not one of them. In fact, it’s a rather simplistic tale about new possibilities and familial connection told through a basic premise that goes haywire for the benefit of entertainment.

Norval, played by an eccentric Elijah Wood, receives a letter from his father who abandoned him 30 years prior. He decides to visit him in his house seemingly in the middle of nowhere, only following the directions from the map his father drew up. From there, one may think they have a grasp on how the rest of the film will play out. It could have very easily fallen into a path of mediocrity, but instead, rose far above it. Come To Daddy hits a turning point around midway through the film, and never even thinks to stop and look back. It’s unapologetically raw and truly feels like Timpson has crafted a wholly unique film. After all, this may be the first film in history to juxtapose a Shakespeare quote with a Beyoncé lyric; and that’s just the first joke the viewer is treated to.

Elijah Wood as Norval in Ant Timpson’s COME TO DADDY.

And what’s so brilliant about Come To Daddy is that its strengths lie in its juxtapositions. Make no mistake, this film is downright brutal, and there’s plenty of blood being spilled. Yet more often than not, it’s extremely comical in its delivery. But at its core, most of the comedy in this film comes from a place that is deeply tragic. Norval is stranded in the home of his father, which has a private beach and is secluded from the world. In another film, it would be therapeutic and beneficial for both father and son; but this is far from a typical film about bonding. Oddly enough, there are moments that are extremely heartfelt and resonate well. But when Norval’s father, played by an erratic Stephen McHattie, opens the door, it does not seem like all will go well.

McHattie is simply fantastic in this, and hopefully this sets him up on a course of horror films where he can fully lose his mind. Deranged and unhinged, the audience never knows his next move and it actually becomes pretty nerve-wracking. A setting this beautiful shouldn’t be this scary, yet it somehow works not only in darkness, but in clear day as well. Come To Daddy is effective not only on a literal level, but on a thematic one as well. Similar to Norval reading “The Celestine Prophecy”, he too is hoping this new possibility at a relationship with his father will clear his mind. Given the chance at a new path, the film can be taken many different ways and is cleverer than its short description leads viewers to believe.

Elijah Wood as Norval and Stephen McHattie in Ant Timpson’s COME TO DADDY.

For this film hides a few metaphysical elements within its short runtime. The Shakespeare quote used from “The Merchant of Venice” is one that rings true repeatedly. “The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children” may be riddling at first, but the finale lays everything out before the viewer. Confrontation of one’s self is crucial to a better understanding of character, and when confronting a father figure as well, the impact is simply tenfold. The curtain is pulled back time and time again in Come To Daddy, and it never becomes too much to bear. The world Timpson has crafted feels as if it’s teetering on the edge of reality and a fever dream. And to be honest, a film as wild as this could not function in any other setting.

There are moments in Come To Daddy that will have you laughing out loud. Other scenes will have you wincing and picking your jaw off the floor. Timpson’s debut is confident filmmaking at its finest, and pulls off everything that it attempts. Paired to a score that feels like a pulse and some tight camerawork, this can only mean great things for Timpson’s career. For Come To Daddy is in a lane of its own, while never feeling too much out of the comfort zone of audiences. It’s always a pleasure to see a film that screams “cult following” before it gains one, and this film turns on the megaphone to rally its newfound fans from the very beginning.

Come To Daddy celebrated its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, and is part of the Midnight section.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

American Horror Story | The Many Faces of Sarah Paulson | FX

Fear the many faces of Sarah. Watch every chapter of American Horror Story with FX on Hulu to see the legendary Sarah Paulson in action. Subscribe now for more American Horror Story clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX In the summer of 1984, five friends escape Los Angeles to work as counselors at Camp Redwood. As they adjust to…

The Lie – Official Trailer

#WelcomeToTheBlumhouse #TheLieMovie The Lie is written and directed by Veena Sud, and stars Mireille Enos (The Killing), Peter Sarsgaard (An Education) and Joey King (The Kissing Booth 2, The Act). When their teenaged daughter confesses to impulsively killing her best friend, two desperate parents attempt to cover up the horrific crime, leading them into a…

Cadaver | Official Trailer | Netflix

In the aftermath of a nuclear disaster, a starving family find hope in a charismatic hotel owner. Lured by the prospect of a free dinner, they discover that the evening's entertainment blurs the lines between performance and reality. Will they wind up the spectators or the spectacle? SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's…

Summer Sizzle 2020 | The CW

Stream new episodes of your favorite shows free only on The CW! SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico. Connect with…

AJ Mendez – The Latinx List • All Accents Welcome

AJ Mendez sits down with her husband Phillip Brooks for a conversation about Latin Heritage Month and representation in TV and film. ABOUT THE LATINX LIST The Black List has teamed with Hulu for the 2020 Latinx List, which focuses one-hour and half-hour original pilots written by at least one Latinx writer and featuring a…

Timothee Chalamet & Armie Hammer Having Sexual Tension for 5 Minutes Straight

Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer together? Say no more. We are absolutely here for it! » Rent Call Me By Your Name on Prime Video: https://amzn.to/2ZJhdDo » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About Call Me By Your Name: Amid the summer splendor of 1980's Italy, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire that will alter…

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: The Fight Before the Fight (Clip) | HBO

Real Sports goes behind the scenes for a rare look at how MMA fighters cut dangerous, life-threatening amounts of weight before a bout to gain a competitive advantage. #RealSports is all-new on Tuesday, September 22 at 10PM. #HBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Real Sports is television’s most-honored sports journalism program, and received last…

Lovecraft Country Radio: Meet Me in Daegu | Episode 6 | HBO

In this episode of Lovecraft Country Radio, hosts Ashley C. Ford and Shannon Houston discuss Episode 6: "Meet Me In Daegu." First, they sit down with Jamie Chung, who plays Ji-ah, and discuss the episode's themes of monstrousness and the character's coming-of-age journey. Then, they're joined by Inkoo Kang, TV critic for The Hollywood Reporter,…
Alex Papaioannou
Alex Papaioannou
Born and raised in New York. I've always loved all things pop culture, but my true passion lies within film. And the only thing that I love more than watching movies is writing about them! Some close runner-ups are: food, the Yankees, and hip-hop.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here