Mom and Dad is among the most purely enjoyable cult B-movies to be released in a long, long time. Intense, darkly funny, and original, this film is sure to be a huge hit among the midnight movie crowd and Nicolas Cage addicts alike. Your mileage may vary on this one depending on how twisted your mind is and your tolerance for wacky violence, but for the right viewer (I think you know who you are), this film is a treasure waiting to be discovered.
Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair play an exasperated middle class couple living in suburbia. Their two bratty kids (a teenage girl and a young boy) are exhausting and they wonder what may have been if they just weren’t there any more. They get their chance to try and find out when an unknown force causes parents to turn violently against their children and kill them in horrific ways. The two kids must find their way out of the house and to safety before mom and dad make good on the classic phrase, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it!”
I liked this movie a lot. It has problems but it’s got energy and wit to it and the performances are all around aces. It’s been a long time but Cage is having fun in a movie again delivering a gonzo, off the wall performance that will add a lot of highlights to the Nicolas Cage Loses His S*** highlight reel including an already much talked about scene in which he destroys a pool table with a sledge hammer while singing an expletive laden version of The Hokey Pokey. Is it self-parody at this point? Maybe but it works for the type of tongue in cheek B-movie that this is. It’s fun. That’s what’s important.
Selma Blair played it more straight and I actually liked her even more. There was more to her character. Whereas Cage was mostly just channeled Jack Nicholson in The Shining the whole time, she actually changed over the course of the movie from loving but exasperated mother to violent maniac. You felt there was some humanity lost when she goes crazy. Not so much with Cage who seemed like he would have probably killed his kids regardless of whether some force messed with his brain.
This movie was directed by Brian Taylor, the mastermind behind Crank -one of my personal favorite actions films of the 2000’s. He does great work here using his frantic editing style and camera movement to create a movie with lot of nonstop energy and momentum. It never lets up. It’s nonstop madness for it’s 80 minute run time. Is it as nuts as Crank? Naw… but it’s the type of movie you can put on with your friends to laugh at the funny parts and cringe at the violence. How I wish this got a theatrical release! It’s a midnight movie and proud of it and definitely the kind of film that it would be fun to watch with a crowd of weirdos in the early AM hours of the night instead of on video on demand in my basement at 10AM.
Like any movie of this type, you’re gonna have some dumb scenes. There is a scene in which the kids are trapped in the basement and they enter a crawl space and come out the attic. That was just sloppy. I won’t spoil the film, but a character exits the film and comes back in an incredibly unconvincing way. My eyes rolled very hard inside of my head. I do think that the movie is too short as well. At 80 minutes, it’s hard to not feel a little cheated.
Overall, I liked Mom and Dad quite a bit. It was just a whole lot of twisted fun and possibly the best thing Nicolas Cage has done in a decade. It’s not for everyone certainly, but those in the mood for some darkly comic carnage will have a blast.