Genre producer Ant Timpson makes a strong directorial debut with the oddball 2019 comedy-thriller, Come To Daddy. Elijah Wood stars as Norval, a young musician attempting to reconnect with his estranged father. He arrives at his dad’s lakeside home and things get off to an okay start, before a series of events lead Norval to believe that things are not what they seem.
Come To Daddy is a film of two halves and it’s best if you go into it knowing as little as possible about the plot. The first (and best) half of the film has the most tension, while the second half (and least interesting) has the most action. Timpson’s career as a producer has seen him bring a lot of cult curiosities such as The ABCs Of Death and The Greasy Strangler to the screen and Come To Daddy features the same off-kilter tone those titles. It constantly twists and turns. One minute you’re laughing at a scene and the next you’re repulsed at what you’re seeing. You never know where it’s going to go.
This modest budgeted film looks wonderful, something which has to do with New Zealand standing in for Oregon and some great production design. The performances are also good, with Elijah Wood continuing to distance himself from Frodo in The Lord Of The Rings films by giving Norval enough oddball character traits to make him a memorable creation. Credit must also go to Michael Smiley for a wickedly evil turn as one of the film’s villains.
Come To Daddy certainly won’t be to everyone’s tastes – but you’ll take much pleasure from its grotesqueness if you’re of a certain dark disposition. Ant Timpson’s film might run out of steam towards the end, but overall Come To Daddy is an enjoyable genre romp which is worth seeking out.