There’s a scene in Mom and Dad where Nicolas Cage’s character Brent tells his young son Joshua that he’ll kill him if he touches his car again, a moment immediately followed by another showing a deranged Cage trying to kill his terrified child with a saw. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Mom and Dad – a new horror thriller whose concept is so high it may incite altitude sickness.
The film is genre movie heaven. Think The Purge meets The Ice Storm: a teenage girl and her little brother must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria causes parents to turn violently on their own kids. Don’t worry about the details like why this is happening or who could be causing it; writer-director Brian Taylor (Crank) is disinterested in answering let alone asking these questions, wholly forgivable when he’s too busy shooting Cage doing the hokey pokey while carrying a sledgehammer.
The Mom to Cage’s Dad is Selma Blair (Legally Blonde, Hellboy) in her first high-profile role since playing Kris Jenner in Ryan Murphy’s O.J. Simpson series American Crime Story last year. Her namesake is yet another Jenner – Kendall – and Taylor throws her just as much fun as the latter most notably during a birth scene which puts a deadly twist on umbilical cord-cutting.
It’s when the two are thrown together that the frustratingly half-baked film clicks into gear, Cage and Blair clearly enjoying the fact they’re getting paid for this. If anything the film could have gone further with Taylor putting a halt to proceedings prematurely as soon as the fun truly begins (wait ’till the grandparents arrive).
Despite minimal effort to throw thinly-veiled social critique into the mixer, Mom and Dad exists for one reason and one reason alone: to entertain. It won’t be remembered for long afterward but sometimes you want to order takeaway instead of eating something healthy, right?
Mom and Dad currently has no UK release date