Black comedy is a genre that Kiwis have been successfully pulling off since the early years of Peter Jackson. There is always something about the style of humour the genre lends itself to that goes hand-in-hand with the dryness of New Zealand wit.
The NZ Film Commission made a wise decision in supporting first time director Ant Timpson’s feature Come to Daddy. Although it is not strictly a Kiwi film in terms of the writer, the locations and certain members of the cast, there is something intrinsically Kiwi about the humour and style that makes this film such a success.
Elijah Wood is Norval Greenwood, an awkwardly moustachioed man who turns up in the middle of nowhere with a crudely drawn map, tracking down his mysterious father who lives alone at the edge of a woods, at the edge of a cliff, at the edge of the ocean. Without going into anything and potentially ruining the gloriously dark surprises that await for Frodo and the audience, needless to say ‘Daddy’ is not what any of us were expecting.
What follows is an exciting, hilarious, extremely graphic and disturbing story that the trailers do very well not to give away. Seamlessly blending genuine edge-of-your-seat horror without relying on the jump scares we have come to predict from the mainstream, Come to Daddy is a genuinely intriguing, graphically disturbing, hilarious adventure.
Kudos to New Zealand’s Ant Timpson for a beautifully assured directorial debut and his ability to evenly deal with the opposing genres with the skill of a more experienced film-maker. At times the script isn’t as surprising as it thinks it is, but there is still plenty to catch you off guard and gore to make even me, the most hardened of horror fans, feel a little bit queasy. I genuinely look forward to see what Timpson does next.
– Ashton Brown