As sons, we always have unfinished business with our fathers. So I thought, ‘What would happen if that unfinished business came looking for us?Ant Timpson – Director
These words surmise the kernel of Ant Timpson’s vision and directorial debut feature, Come To Daddy and its this beating heart that drives the narrative forward and compels you further into what is essentially a dark and twisted comedy.
Visually and choreographically, this is a simply glorious film, with a beautifully hypnotic and enchanting score by Karl Stevens, that infuses old school 70s espionage thrillers with an eerie, unearthly bass-fuelled playfulness that is the perfect accompaniment to the narrative.
Come To Daddy encloses some of our greatest fears and trepidations by tapping into a family divided by place and time, but connected by blood and loyalty and this becomes tested by opening up Pandora’s Box to be faced with uncertainty and morbid curiosity.
What lies beneath the surface may be better left untouched, and for those that probe and tweak a little further, can herald some unpleasant surprises. Timpson had a clear vision in mind for his feature, drawing from a personal account with the passing of his own father as his inspiration.
This is evident throughout the film and gives the storyline the much-needed gravitas to direct the audience through the wild and strange happenings that occur and explores the relationship of father and son.
When Norval (Elijah Wood), a ‘privileged man-child’ receives a letter from his estranged father of thirty years to come and visit him. Seeing this as a chance to rekindle their relationship, Norval is surprised to find that his father may not be who he had envisioned. And what’s more, carries some baggage that he may not necessarily wish to inherit.
There’s something quite remarkable about off-kilter, independent films that despite appearances play a tune that is so perfectly in sync with its equilibrium and defies expectations and in this case, Timpson belies his novice attempt at a feature and you’d be forgiven for thinking that he was a veteran in his craft.
The notes and beats are flawless as Norval’s trials and tribulations play out on screen to the delight of its audience. Despite its macabre storyline, Come To Daddy peppers along with much amusement as it playfully dances with our hearts in the most dire of situations and keeps us guessing about the fate of Norval.
Wood is fantastic as the lead and is chameleonic in that way that he brings life to the character with his curious eccentricity, both physically and mentally, showing the flaws and humanity, which is both refreshing and ultimately rewarding as we follow Norval’s journey.
Wood’s performance is even more elevated by his support players, who are a real treat to watch, from Stephen McHattie’s suitably unbalanced Gordon, to the always fantastic Michael Smiley as Jethro, and Martin Donovan’s all-round solid delivery of Brian, make this an ensemble cast that would make most directors proud to be involved with.
So many ingredients that combine to make this a gem of a movie.
It’s not something I can pigeonhole, if I’m honest.
Is it a quirky, yet intriguing independent feature? Yes
Does it produce some high quality visual treats in harmony with scintillating audio stimulation? Yes
Does it tickle the darkest humour of the human psyche? Yes
Does it prove Ant Timpson to be a master of his craft with an array of stellar talent? Yes.
So, what are you waiting for? Head over to Umbrella Entertainment and treat yourself to a superbly entertaining movie, that will not disappoint.
- Saul Muerte
Come To Daddy is NOW available to view via Video On Demand
Blu-Ray & DVD from June 2020