Movie Review: Mom and Dad (2017)

Synopsis: A rebellious teenager, Carly, must protect her brother and herself from their parents when a mysterious hysteria causes people to kill their children.

Who's in it? The movie stars Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters, Zackary Arthur and Robert T. Cunningham.


Review: I added this film to our streaming library a few weeks ago but, while I was interested in watching it, usually found something else I wanted to watch more. My wife and I finally decided to put it on last night and, while it wasn't quite as good as I was hoping it would be, it was still an interesting film.

As I told my wife while watching the movie, I felt as though it was written by someone who really hated kids, especially teenagers, based mostly on the way the kids were portrayed. Basically, if they were a teenager, they were an ass. If they weren't a teenager, like her brother (Arthur), they didn't seem overly bright. In fact, I'm still a bit confused why her brother wasn't in school since he seemed like he was more than old enough. This did make the movie a little less enjoyable for me because it ultimately meant none of the protagonists were overly likable, other than maybe Carly's (Winters) boyfriend (Cunningham), who seemed like a decent guy but wasn't really given enough screen time for that to be confirmed.

The premise itself, however, was definitely unique and, while there was just enough comedy to keep it from becoming too dark, the graphic displays of violence and the way they contrasted with the relatively normal way the killers acted when they were around other people's kids made the film genuinely creepy. That, in turn, made the movie entertaining.

I think the thing that really stands out though is Cage's performance as Carly's dad. I'm still not sure if he was working from a script or was just told to improvise and act crazy, but his character was intense. Of course, it also helped that he wasn't exactly a great guy to begin with. Even before becoming infected, he was already going through a mid-life crisis and had the potential for violent outbursts, the mysterious disease only amplified that.

I also liked the way Blair played her "mom" character. She added a nice complement to Cage's performance and portrayed her character in a way that made me wonder if she was fully transformed or was still on the fence a bit, something that kept the movie less predictable than it might otherwise have been, especially since she seemed to be the more calculating and sadistic of the two.

Final Opinion: This probably would have been slightly better had the kids been a bit more likable. However, it was still an entertaining film with some great performances from its stars.

My Grade: B+

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