‘Mum & Dad’ is an extremely dark and sickening look into family life. We've seen oodles of sickness and depravity from on screen unstable American families in the past but haven't been treated to a British unit with such awesome immorality in quite some time. There’s unsettling abusiveness behind these closed doors with nauseating sexual undercurrent by the barrel load.
Mum & Dad live a sheltered life in a little house near the bottom of Heathrow airport and relying on scavenging along with their two ‘adopted’ children Birdie and Elbie to get by. When a young Polish cleaner, Lena, winds up working at the airport Birdie sees it upon herself to bring her home to meet the family. Only it appears she won’t be leaving as she soon finds herself imprisoned in the house with Mum & Dad and the rest of the insane family and is left with a solitary choice - join the family of sickos or Dad will get her!
Several events that have washed the shores of the UK in the past few months seem to make this little shocker from writer/director Steven Sheil even more significant. Recent stories in the media of child abuse, abduction and imprisonment are becoming frighteningly commonplace in the heart of England. And a movie like ‘Mum & Dad’ brings this alarming reality to the center of the public’s attention.
However, I’m certain the movie was unlikely a social reflection and more just an excuse to attempt shock value on its unsuspecting audience. The title characters (Mum & Dad, who are not named to give them even more notoriety) played by TV actors Dido Miles and Perry Benson respectively give well earned performances and show respectable ability with such a difficult subject matter and acting in ultimately uncomfortable scenes.
I was particularly impressed with young actress Ainsley Howard who doesn’t appear to have much else on her CV to date but held her own with a very convincing performance as young apparent daughter Birdie.
The film is full with lewd and insidious elements to unnerve its viewers and help bring him or her into the malevolent experiences along with Lena. If you need to get away from the seasonal jollities this month and aren’t perturbed by the grim theme then take a peek at ‘Mum & Dad’.
Director Sheil has uprooted some disconcerting feelings in this reviewer and I have to admit it left me squirming just a little after witnessing this final product. I am very interested in seeing what this new talent will offer next. If ever there was a reason to extend some of the runways at Heathrow airport then this is it. Also nice to see the spelling of Mum and not Mom in a title for a change!