This Violent Dark Comedy Thriller Is Inspired by a True Story – Kinda


The big picture

  • come to father
    is a dark comedy thriller that creatively explores dysfunctional father-son dynamics.
  • The film's low-budget setting heightens the emotional rawness of the characters, making it authentic.
  • Elijah Wood gives an eccentric lead performance
    come to father
    as music producer Norval Greenwood looking for his father.

While there are plenty of chilling horror movies that revolve around masked killers, vengeful spirits, and otherworldly creatures, the movies that truly terrify are often those that deal with universal fears, such as grief and loss. These kinds of horror movies represent how the things we find most daunting and most fearful are often the most ubiquitous and realistic, offering some instruction for dealing with existential anxieties. Family legacy and sensitive masculinity are critical themes within the director Ant Timpsonis a very underrated dark comedy thriller come to father. Reversing the premise of a standard “cabin in the woods” style slasher film, come to father analyzes a dysfunctional father-son relationship. Despite the weight of the premise, come to father it is not as miserable as it may seem; the film incorporates more than a few hilariously inventive death scenes and features an unusually eccentric lead performance of Elijah Wood. However, the more serious depiction of a strained parental relationship allows for this come to father be more than an exercise in style. There is an authentic feel throughout the film which is understandable Timpson drew on his own trauma to create the themes of come to father.

Come to Daddy (2019)

It centers on a young man's journey to reunite with his long-lost father, which leads to unexpected and darkly comic turns as family secrets and true intentions are uncovered in a remote cabin.

Publication date
April 25, 2019

Ant Timpson

Execution time
96 minutes

Main genre

Toby Harvard

Scythia Films, Firefly Films, Blinder Films, Saban Films, New Zealand Film Commission

What is 'Come to Daddy' about?

come to father centers on highly pretentious music producer Norval Greenwood (Wood), who has shunned his humble origins in favor of a more elaborate lifestyle in Beverly Hills. Despite his success, Norval ends up walking to an isolated cabin to be reunited with a man who claims to be his father (Stephen McHattie). What begins as a series of awkward conversations takes a turn for the worse when the man unexpectedly dies, leaving Norval in charge of the corpse. come to father quickly turns its premise through a case of mistaken identity. After analyzing a series of family photographs, Norval realizes that the man who died was an impostor named Gordon; his real father, Brian (Martin Donovan), has been hidden under the cabin in an underground bunker.

Although it eventually becomes a work of violent body horror, come to father creates dark humor by analyzing awkward family interactions. Norval is an interesting character because he is clearly trying to use his current success in California as a means to justify his unhappy unhappiness. Although he initially hopes that detailing his experience to Gordon will finally earn him the respect he desires, he is shocked and upset when the man who claims to be his father dismisses his achievements. McHattie's raw, hard-hitting delivery can be played for laughs, but the devastating effect it has on Norval is evident. The awkwardness continues with the revelation about Brian's true identity; Norval is so bewildered by the situation that he barely has time to consider his new opportunity to prove himself to his father.


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The premise is more than a little unusual, though come to father it succeeds thanks to a peculiar performance by Wood. Although he may have achieved international fame thanks to his role as Frodo Baggins The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Wood is often at his best when playing strange strangers. There was potential for Norval to be a very unpleasant protagonist whose wealth and privilege make him unpleasant, but Wood is able to expose the character's vulnerability; it becomes clear that the sarcastic persona he has created is a facade, as he is afraid of being sensitive. When he realizes that “the state” doesn't matter when lives are on the line, Norval begins to reassess his priorities and becomes a more appealing hero.

'Come to Daddy' was inspired by director Ant Timpson's real father

The narration of come to father becomes more complex with the revelation that Brian is on the run from the criminals Jethro (Michael Smiley) and Dandy (Simon Chin) after a criminal enterprise goes south. Despite this, Timpson began to write come to father after the death of his real father after collapsing from a heart attack. Timpson admitted that after seeing “strangers come, pay their respects,” he began to think about “an alternate history of my father.” Timpson didn't get a chance to avoid his grief as he had to “spend a week with his dead body in a coffin in his house alone at night”. He said that “the whole process was cathartic and beautiful and scary and sad”, and that he came out of the situation “going back to making movies”.

The film eventually became a story about an unusual father-son relationship, however come to father he was also influenced by the interests of Timpson's father. Timpson revealed that his father had a passion for “gallows humour, crazy characters, a British sensibility”, and this is certainly reflected in come to father. The film exploits even the most violent situations to comedic effect, incorporating eccentric supporting characters and using a dry wit that reflects old-fashioned British comedies.

'Come to Daddy' shows the inventiveness of low-budget horror

Often you don't need the show to make a good scare, like come to father uses its isolated location to its advantage. Condensing the entire story into one place forces the characters to be inventive as they try to survive. Beyond the problem-solving element, the singular focus of come to fatherIts location adds more intimacy to Norval and Brian's relationship. They are forced to be in each other's company for so long that they don't have a chance to mask their emotions. By removing any wider context and refusing to show the outside world, Timpson shows the possibilities of low-budget cinema with come to father. Norval and Brian must survive using only the scarce materials in the cabin; the challenges the film may have had in production are the ones the characters face as well. The film feels more authentic and impactful as both filmmakers and characters are forced to be creative. With Timpson and Wood set to reunite in another horror film, it's safe to say come to father it has the makings of a future cult classic.

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