Parents have a natural instinct that makes them willing to do anything to protect their offspring. One day, all that changes. Something is happening to all the parents. Suddenly the parents will stop at nothing to kill their own children. Carly, a teenage girl, must fight to protect her little brother from their own mom and dad, who want nothing more than to murder them.
The premise of this film is very simple. One day, instead of wanting to protect their children, all the parents suddenly want to brutally murder their children. That’s pretty much it. The film never even explains why this sudden change occurs. While not knowing the ‘why’ behind all the carnage is somewhat troublesome, it allows you to focus on the relationships within the main family unit and what it means to be a parent. This aspect is the most interesting part of the film, although some may see it as mean-spirited.
Every parent thinks negative thoughts about their kids, especially when the kids are in their teenage years. Mothers think about how having children ruined their bodies. Fathers think about how they lost their freedom by getting married and having kids. Granted, this isn’t how all parents think, but I’d be willing to bet that a lot of parents occasionally think thoughts along the same lines. While in the real world these are just thoughts, and they don’t take away from how much a parent loves their child, that isn’t the case in this film. A lot of these negative thoughts are the driving force behind the parents killing their kids. Some viewers will likely think this makes the film cruel. I think it adds to the dark, and sometimes overly honest, humor threaded throughout the film.
Another aspect of the film that might make people dislike it is the violence towards children. While for the most part the film focuses on the teenage daughter, the filmmakers do show violence towards younger kids and even infants. Again, this will be off-putting to some viewers. There aren’t many filmmakers willing to show that kind of violence towards kids, but in real life children are not immune to violence. It makes sense that even the youngest children wouldn’t be immune to it in this film, especially since every parent is affected by whatever mysterious force makes them want to kill their children.
While the film is primarily told through the eyes of the teenage daughter, the adults have the standout performances. The role of the father, Brent, seems like it was written for Nicolas Cage (Knowing, Face/Off). Cage is known for his freakout moments in past films, and this film is filled to the brim with classic Cage craziness. Anyone who is a fan of Cage’s over-the-top acting style will want to see him in this. Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions, Hellboy) plays the mother in this psychotic duo, Kendall. Blair typically plays the more shy, awkward characters, but not in this performance. In this film, audiences get to see her go through an interesting transformation. Initially she is the quintessential perfect mom doing anything and everything for her children. Then, as all the other parents become murderous, her change to wanting nothing more than to kill her own kids is even more pronounced. Together they make an insane and often hilarious couple, fitting into various parenting stereotypes.
Mom and Dad is a hyper-violent and darkly funny film that says all the things about parenting that parents aren’t supposed to say. This film takes some risks in how it portrays violence (with children on the receiving end of this violence). As a result, there will be some who undoubtedly will hate this film. In my opinion, the film is an entertaining flick chalked full of mindless violence. Throw in the classic Nic Cage craziness and Selma Blair’s evil charms, and it is easier to overlook the somewhat skimpy plot. This film may be forgotten by the end of the year, but I have a feeling it will develop quite the cult following over the years.
OVERALL RATING: 6.5/10