– by Daniel Tafoya

Elijah Wood plays Norval Greenwood, a hipster L.A. DJ reconnecting with his estranged father in the new movie Come to Daddy. Things do not go at all according to plan and before he knows it, Norval is swept up in a family affair that involves murder, kidnapping and muscle bound prostitutes. Or as I like to call it: Tuesday.

Norval makes the trek to a remote cabin to see his father after years of not talking to him. Having received a letter from his dad, he is surprised that when he arrives, he is not exactly welcomed with open arms. His father is a hostile drunk who before too long croaks in front of Norval, leaving him confused and bereft. Shortly thereafter, sounds start coming from the basement, leading to the discovery of our lead’s true father, handcuffed and beaten down below. It turns out the man posing as Norval’s dad upstairs was his former crime partner who, along with a few associates, is back to get his share of some long lost loot. If Norval is to save his father, he is going to have to take on these real bad hombres by finding the killer within, as these guys don’t mess around and would just as soon kill Norval as look at him.

Elijah Wood has found a home in genre cinema in recent years, having starred in or produced numerous artistically successful horror and thriller films. Come to Daddy has a bit of the violence of the Maniac remake which he starred in, mixed with the offbeat humor of The Greasy Strangler, which he produced. It is actually written by the scribe of the latter film, based on an idea by longtime producer turned first time director Ant Timpson. New Zealander Timpson has a long history of producing genre efforts himself, and he directly channels the influence of those films into the DNA of this, his nascent helming gig.

Wood and Timpson, friends in real life, make for a great actor/director team in Come to Daddy. Think De Niro and Scorsese, but only if their films featured copious amounts of genital stabbing and ears being kicked off. If the prospect of those two violent acts alone don’t have you intrigued, I’d say check your pulse, as you may not be alive. Come to Daddy rewards the fan of outre genre cinema in spades, with its humor, originality and body count. Seek it out if it plays a film festival near you or when Saban Films soon releases it in theaters.

Recommended if you liked: Cheap Thrills, I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore, The Greasy Strangler

Final Grade: B+

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