Review – Come To Daddy (2019) : Fantasia International Film Festival!

by Vincent Leblanc

My third film on Day 3 of the festival was the Canadian Premiere of the thriller Come to Daddy, a co-production between New Zealand, Canada, and Ireland. The film had its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival back in April. It played in several other festivals before landing in Montreal and it has upcoming screenings at the  FrightFest in London, UK in August and at the Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya in Sitges, Spain in October. 

The film was written by Toby Harvard, based on an idea by Ant Timpson. It was directed by Ant Timpson, the first feature film in this specific chair for the New Zealander, best known for his producing credits of both ABC’s of Death anthology films as well as Turbo Kid and Deathgasm for example. Come to Daddy stars Stephen McHattie and Elijah Wood.

Ant Timpson was invited to the stage by the Fantasia host. He spoke a little bit about his history with Montreal and his collecting of 35mm films. He added that he loved us, “well, maybe not all of you… Depends how it goes tonight!”, which drew laughter from the audience. He hoped we would enjoy the movie and that there would be a Q&A after the film, with actor Stephen McHattie and director of photography Daniel Katz who were also in the house.

If you’re finding out about Come to Daddy just now, here’s what it is about (copied from the Fantasia website):

“Thirty-five-year-old Norval journeys to the middle of nowhere to visit his father after receiving a letter begging him to come. Having not seen his dad since he was five, it’s all a little mysterious and vaguely emotional for him. He arrives at his father’s distinctly UFO-shaped home and almost immediately gets off on the wrong foot with him. Awkward unpleasantries abound, and soon, let’s just say, the unexpected happens. A number of times. Things proceed to get a little strange and a lot violent as Norval finds himself plunged into circumstances on the shiftier side of outright lunacy.”

At the time of selecting the movie among those I wanted to see at the festival, there wasn’t any trailer available, only a short clip of a scene and the description above. And that was for the better! I predict that the future trailer will ruin most of the surprises of this film.

I really appreciated going into this movie almost blindly. The setup of the first act was smooth but interesting. Then, the film takes an unexpected turn that I liked discovering. Throughout the film, there are some moments of thrills, laughter and blood flow that I enjoyed. However, I feel like the film lost a bit of its momentum as it was heading towards the end. Overall, I still had a good time.

Stephen McHattie is always great, but this film is mostly about Elijah Wood who’s fun to watch in this other genre outing. 

It was announced back in May that Saban Films acquired the US rights of the film. Métropole Films Distribution, a Canadian distributor, provided the print for this screening. I guess we’re going to hear about North American distribution in the coming months. 

I am giving Come to Daddy a rating of 3.5 out of 5 Hairpieces!

 

Here’s the above-mentioned short clip of a scene: 

#Fantasia2019 #FantasiaFest #ComeToDaddy

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