Come to Daddy (2019)

*. Not much to say here, though I don’t mean that Come to Daddy is a bad movie or not worth checking out. It’s quirky and decently put forward. But “quirky” has come to seem less quirky in the crowded field of horror-action-comedy these days. If this movie had come out in the 1970s it might be regarded today as a cult favourite, but today it seems like a typical production of the zeitgeist. If they’d added some barely-remembered rock song from the ’80s they would have assembled all the essential ingredients.
*. Elijah Wood plays Norval, a young man with a strange caterpillar moustache and a very, very strange bowl haircut (he works in the music industry in Los Angeles, you see) who is summoned by his estranged father, a reclusive figure he has never known, for a visit to the father’s fashionable, and isolated, coastal chateau. Norval shows up and is met by a weird old alcoholic crank played by Stephen McHattie. McHattie is always fun to watch, but he’s not with us for long and soon Norval is discovering that things are not what they seem.

*. I can’t say much more, as there’s a big median break in the plot that actually sends things spinning in a not entirely predictable new direction. So full credit there. Unfortunately, once we start going off in this new direction the movie unravels in a mostly formulaic way without ever picking up speed. It remains interesting, in that quirky way I mentioned, but at the same time never feels as fresh as you’d imagine.
*. Billed as a horror comedy it’s neither scary nor funny, but it gets by on its X factor. The violence is quick and nasty, particularly the scenes involving various improvised stabbing weapons like a pen, a roasting fork, and a bill spindle. The sexual tension is enjoyable, especially in the unconventional but touching desire Norval feels for an attractive coroner. There’s a message about father-son bonding that thankfully only gets introduced as an afterthought. So there’s stuff here to enjoy, if not be enthusiastic about. A good little movie in the genre of dark quirk, but it has to be said that this is a genre now so it’s not as challenging as it wants to be.

10 thoughts on “Come to Daddy (2019)

  1. Bookstooge

    Ahhh yes, the ever so predictable Music Industry and Coroner as Lovers trope.
    As soon as I saw that, I knew I was going to bail on this movie. That’s probably my least favorite trope.

      1. Bookstooge

        Gag me with a spoon.

        I haven’t seen much of Elijah W since LotR. Has he been active and I’ve just missed him or did he do something similar to that harry potter boy and go off the rails in terms of what movies he chose to be in?

      2. Alex Good Post author

        He’s kept busy in a pretty wide variety of projects. Was even the killer in the remake of Maniac. Nothing as high profile as LotR though. I imagine he’s a hard actor to cast, which is played up even more here because his appearance is really weird.

    1. Alex Good

      Ha! I was just writing up some notes today where I was thinking the same thing about Tobey Maguire. Radcliffe fits too. Men who will probably always look like they’re 20 years old.


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