Essay About Movie Reviews: Mom and Dad (2018)

As a lover of horror movies I am always on the look out for the latest releases and as much as I’m all for a good old, traditional slasher movie, I find myself especially drawn to the films which provide a more original and therefore more interesting story-line. That being said I also enjoy the occasional comedy-horror like ”Shaun of the Dead” where the bridges between humorous and terrifying can meet to create something altogether more enjoyable.

Momentum Pictures’ new release of ”Mom and Dad” seemed to offer just what I was looking for with it’s quirky and creative diegesis and being a huge Nicolas Cage fan I have to admit I had high hopes for this film.

WARNING: This review may contain spoilers. Read with caution.

When the fundamental desire to protect your children is gone and replaced by the overwhelming need to kill them, what do you do? In some perverted twist of fate this movie explores the possibilities of what could occur if the very people who brought you into this world were the very ones to take you out of it. ”Mom and Dad” centers around around teenager Carly Ryan and her little brother Josh as they fight for their lives over a 24 hour period as parents turn on their own children.

Throughout the film we are shown snippets of their family life prior to the zombie like change that their parents Kendall and Brent Ryan (Nicolas Cage) go through. Though raising their family in a picturesque suburban neighbourhood, life in the Ryan household isn’t what appearances would initially lead you to believe with their struggling finances, thieving and drug taking daughter and tense relationships lurking in the background. It’s this juxtapose that sets the tone throughout the film as we continually see contrast between love and hate, innocent and evil.

”That Scene”

Even if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you’ve probably heard about the dreaded scene where Kendall Ryan’s sister, Jeanne delivers her newborn baby. A moment where we seem to witness the switch flick in Jeanne’s mind as her eyes dull and the unconditional love she had for her newborn changes to hate in the matter of seconds when she begins squeezing her baby far,far too tightly. As the baby screams violently, the Doctors, nurses and Kendall fight to restrain Jeanne and pry the baby from her arms. Fortunately the baby survives the horrific ordeal but as the most innocent of human lives is threatened it reinforces to the viewer just how far this movie is willing to go.

It was at this point in the film I had completely made up my mind that this wasn’t going to be a positive review as vile and unnecessarily graphic scenes produced only for shock value aren’t what make a good movie, instead they ruin them.

Disappointingly, the cause for the parents behavioural change is never actually disclosed though there seems to be a link to the change being caused by television screens going static as each room where the parents make their switch there is always a static television on show. Though this is never actually confirmed in the movie making it completely down to the viewer to come up with their own reasoning’s for why parents are going full psycho and killing their own children.

Though classed as a thriller/horror, ”Mom and Dad” definitely belongs (albeit questionably), somewhere in the comedy-horror category with it’s less than frightening and erratic plot development.

Unfortunately though the movie had it’s funny moments and the premise for what could have been a fantastic zombie-esque movie, they were overtaken by the anti-climatic and quite frankly lazy ending that didn’t clear anything up. The creation of one shocking scene did not make up for the lack of suspense throughout the rest of the movie. It’s almost as if the film-makers got writers block and gave up mid scene in the final minutes of the film, which I sincerely hope is the case and that we won’t see ”Mom and Dad” return for a sequel.

Of course not everyone will agree with my opinion and I’m sure there will be some of you out there who loved the film so whatever your feelings are for ”Mom and Dad” I would love to hear any thoughts you had while watching this movie in the comments section below.

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