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Mum and Dad (2008)

'Mum and Dad' is a grim British horror film directed by Steven Sheil. I had seen this pop up on various streaming platforms and never gave it any consideration as being worthy of my time. That is until I saw this film recently appear on a most heinous horror list. This caused instant curiosity and I had to see if this was worthy of its place on that list. Considering this is only a short run time, I found the pacing to suffer quite drastically. There isn't a lot of substance to the story and it shows, having multiple drawn out scenes throughout that have very little baring on the plot, other than to fill out the time in between the few scenes of substance. Whilst I assume that the intention was to use these scenes to provide exposition to the intensity of the family, all of this was undercut by the poor acting and became really dull to sit through. As for the cast, protagonist Lena, played by Olga Fedori is this films saving grace. She gives a really convincing performance as a helpless captive, in a world of depravity and absurdity of the new "family" dynamic she has found herself in. The remaining small cast have no depth to their performance. Both the Mum played by Dido Miles and the Brother played by Toby Alexander, whilst heavily featured, fall into the background - over shadowed by the ridiculously over-the-top performances from the Dad played by Perry Benson and Sister played by Ainsley Howard. There was nothing intimidating about either character, their hammy performance undercut any of the tension they were intended to deliver, making them rather laughable antagonists. The responsibility of the editing falls upon Leo Scott, and I think this might be some of the worst I have come across to-date. There is some really poor transitions that are so unnatural and completely detract you from the film. Most scene changes also consist of a cut shot to a scene of a plane flying over head, to signify that time has passed between the previous scene. And whilst this works in theory (being a very obvious and repetitive transition), by the tenth time this happens it just becomes infuriating. Conceptually, this is a truly harrowing story and does feature some extremely uncomfortable moments as the story begins to develop. Unfortunately, I couldn't see past the low-budget execution and serious pacing issues. Whilst I feel that there is a gripping story to be told here with this script, this attempt isn't it. 'Mum and Dad' was ultimately rather underwhelming.



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