Plot: The relationship between a parent and child can be a stressful, tense one, but an odd turn of events make what should be a loving, unconditional bond turn into a deadly game of survival. In a strange, inexplicable event, parents begin to turn on their own children and unleash violent, blood soaked assaults. This isn’t just timeouts or being sent to their room, these kids are being hunted down, tortured, and even killed, with no logic or clear motivation. As young people start to realize what is going on, they’re confused and terrified, while news reports confirm the parental violence, but offer no cause and just advise kids to avoid their parents at all costs. Carly (Anne Winters) is a teen girl who tries to stay ahead of her parents, but Kendall (Selma Blair) and Brent (Nicolas Cage) are driven to track her down and kill her, while her younger brother also finds himself in harm’s way. What is causing these parents to turn to horrific violence and when will this spree end?
Entertainment Value: If you’re interested in Mom and Dad because you love wild and manic Nicolas Cage, you’ll likely be disappointed. Cage has a prominent role, but isn’t around for most of the movie and while he does go a little unhinged, his work isn’t as outlandish as you might expect. He dials it up in a few scenes, but not much and in most cases, Selma Blair offers the wilder performance. A yoga mom on the hunt to kill her own kids is an interesting concept and Blair embraces the craziness, while Cage is more reserved in his approach. But we do have a few minutes of both going full speed, shame that isn’t more frequent in Mom and Dad. I do like the concept, especially as it just dives in and skips the exposition, but the movie overall is too restrained and fails to run with the outlandish premise. This could have been a balls out, wild movie filled with all kinds of eye popping moments, but for some reason, the filmmakers are content to make it a middle of the road thriller, with some light horror elements. The movie is a decent watch, but to waste such great potential on a mediocre thriller is so sad, but Cage and Blair fans might find a little to like here.
A topless woman is seen in a repeated flashback sequence, but that’s all the sleaze to be found in this one. The movie packs in some violence and bloodshed, but not much active or kinetic violence is seen. A lot of the carnage happens off screen and we’re shown the aftermath, which isn’t ideal. As much as I love the idea of parents grabbing whatever tools are at hand to dispatch their own kids, Mom and Dad fails to deliver inventive or at least splashy kill scenes. A couple passable moments can be seen, but honestly this one is all talk and little action. Blair has some fun dialogue, banter with the yoga moms and some motherly verbal abuse, but Cage isn’t given much to work, which seems like another missed chance. Aside from the mom gossip and Blair’s tuned up banter, the writing here is dull and forgettable. The craziness scale is where this movie should have excelled, but instead it just fizzles. The premise is so rich with potential, but aside from Blair’s performance and a somewhat fun finale, Mom and Dad does little to be even a little wacky, let alone unhinged.
Overall Insanity: 2/10