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Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: Mom and Dad

Sep 29, 2017

By Matt Kahkonen

I think every movie lover out there has this sort of love/hate relationship with Nicolas Cage. When he’s good, he’s really fucking good, but when he’s bad, he elevates overacting to a level unknown to the rest of the acting world. Mom and Dad is a horror comedy that uses Cage’s unique brand of scenery chewing to its own benefit, and it’s a hell of a ride.

The central premise of the movie, directed by Crank’s Brian Taylor, is that some sort of neurological event has triggered parents of the world to kill their offspring. It’s a crazy concept and the actual reason behind what’s happening is never explored, and it doesn’t need to be. The story here is much more focused on one particular family. The patriarch of that family is played by Nicolas Cage. Madness and hilarity ensue. 

Getting into details would ruin some of the fun. The movie is shocking at times, but above all else it’s just a fun B-movie that I could definitely see becoming a bit of a cult classic. Cage seems intentionally bad in this, but in a way that works considering the insanity of the situation. He chews scenery like nobody else can and some of his line delivery is so exaggerated that it lifts what could be a throwaway line into instant meme territory. 

Mom and Dad isn’t high art and it’s not really a “good” movie in the traditional sense. It gets off to too slow of a start, there’s basically zero explanation for what’s happening, and there’s really no resolution to the big picture issue here since the film is more focused on the small scale implications. The directing is also a little schizophrenic, with a ton of unnecessary jump cuts and static thrown in for good measure, not unlike Taylor’s previous work with Crank and Gamer. Somehow though, everything comes together and makes a cohesive, enjoyable film. It’s crazy as all hell and Nicolas Cage is completely off the rails, but it’s fun to watch, and a lot of “good” movies out there can’t even pull that off. 

Final Grade: 7/10