Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair star in this pitch-black horror-comedy about a worldwide mass hysteria where, for 24 brutal hours, parents turn violently against their own children.
Mommy and Daddy ain’t alright, and they’re definitely more than a little weird in this pitch-black horror comedy that imagines a 24-hour nightmare where parents worldwide succumb to a mysterious mass hysteria that turns them violently against their own children. It’s a macabre and inspired conceit, and one mined for biting social satire by writer/director Brian Taylor on his first solo outing since his gonzo collaborations with Mark Neveldine (the Crank films, Gamer), which similarly provoked and parodied cultural bugaboos.
Quickly narrowing the premise to the perspective of an average American family caught in the midst of the mayhem, Taylor gleefully teeters with the tone throughout, dipping from swaths of ironic slapstick horror to a white-knuckle postpartum set piece in a hospital delivery room. Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage portray the titular ‘rents, and while Cage is fully engaged, delivering a hysterical performance that’s manic and memorable — not to mention meme-able — Blair is the film’s emotional anchor. She imbues the family matriarch with an empathetic and depressed weariness that underscores the tragedy and horror of the twisted scenario.
Mom and Dad is riotous entertainment for those who wished that Paul Lynde didn’t just complain about “kids these days” in Bye Bye Birdie, but also chased after them with an electric handsaw.
– Peter Kuplowsky
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