Nicholas Cage has his moments. His moments are mainly the ones where he just doesn’t give a fuck about his performance and goes off the wall crazy ass bonkers. Those are his most entertaining roles. Add MOM AND DAD to the list of them. Mom and Dad is playing in few select theaters but you can rent or buy it on VOD right now. I am not a huge fan of direct to VOD, but this movie is an exception. It’s crazy premise, short tight run time, and Nic Cage make this one of the rare good ones. It’s from Brian Taylor, one of the duo of Neveldine/Taylor, who brought you such weird projects as Gamer, Crank, and Crank High Voltage. This is his solo outing, and if you’ve seen any of those fast paced, hyper edited, high premise films, you know what to expect. And you get exactly that.
There is only one thing you need to know about Mom and Dad. It is about some kind of signal that is making Mom and Dads everywhere have the uncontrollable urge to kill their kids, and just their kids, no one else’s. Which actually brought an interesting dynamic to the film. There are some scenes where parents are stopping other parents from killing their kids, but when they get home or see their kids, they go after them anyway with that blood thirsty rage. What I kind of like about the film is that even with that high premise, it is light on plot other than two kids, a brother and sister, trying to escape the clutches of their mom and dad, played by Nicholas Cage and Selma Blair. I’ve already sung the praises of Nicholas Cage here, but Selma Blair is also very exceptional, probably bringing what is her best performance ever, and definitely her best since Cruel Intentions.
If you are one of those ‘Losties” and are looking for answers to the who, what, where, when, and why of this signal and why it is happening, I’m just going to tell you right now to not expect many answers. There are context clues to make you figure everything out and the ending is sort of ambigouis, and not everything is tied up in a nice little bow. This is a movie to just sit back and enjoy the insanity of it. To see Nicholas Cage screaming and singing the Hokey Pokey while he is destroying a pool table with a sledgehammer or his crazy eyes and mannerisms as he runs after his kids. My favorite scene is when he and Selma Blair try to get their kids out of the locked basements by rigging their gas system and jerry-rigging it through a window in the basement.
There is a late and short appearance by Lance Hendrickson that I quite enjoyed as well, but saying anything about that would ruin a pretty good surprise the film has to offer. The movie mixtures horror, comedy, and disturbing very well, and while at some points it gets pretty close to crossing that ‘too far’ line, it doesn’t quite get there. The violence and gore isn’t too bad, as even though parents are killing their kids, we don’t get up close to any of the bloody murders, just shots of bloody knives, keys, and other objects, without actually seeing any of them hit and cut the human body.
Well that’s all I am going to say about this film because it is a short 85 minutes and if I say anything else it might ruin some of the fun. It’s a helluva ride and a return to form for Taylor, who I am still wanting to see a Crank 3 in theaters somewhere down the line. I would even like to see a sequel to this, not necessarily to get the origins of the signal explained, but maybe to expand the universe more and see another side to the mayhem. Hopefully it does well enough to do that. You could start by taking my recommendation and renting it to whatever VOD service you have on a compatible device. Oh, and don’t watch this with your kids. Just sayin’.