Mum and Dad (2008)

Parents can be bloody murder.
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Mum and Dad - Parents can be bloody murder

Steven Sheil's directorial debut, Mum and Dad, is a typically twisted Brit horror portraying the misguidedly motivated psycho family horror that the British do so well. With enough gruesome gore to satisfy your typical gorehound and a plotline sick and twisted enough to leave the most hardened horror addict with a slightly sour taste in the mouth along with a satisfaction that pure horror for horror's sake is still being produced for the needs of those viewers that are a bit messed in the head. As well as the unnecessary nastiness portrayed there is a subtle dark sarcasm as the image of the nuclear family is taken to it's boundaries, pushed over and flipped on it's head to make the concept of a close family an unpleasant ideology. The storyline and its execution are kept simple and rather than this being a negative aspect it is a reminder of the true art of horror making where the objective is purely to shock and disturb the viewer.

Polish immigrant Lena (Olga Fedori), is suckered by the charms of Birdie (Ainsley Howard) as the two dutifully clean a shit covered cubicle in Heathrow Airport toilets. The two converse about family and other mundane yet personal matters, Birdie explains that her Mum and Dad care for her and her adopted brother Elbie (Toby Alexander) in a house not far from the airport. The two stop for lunch and meet up with the previously mentioned Elbie for sandwiches. Elbie doesn't talk and has obviously had some trauma in his life, but he seems nice enough.

When Lena misses her last bus home she is cajoled into accepting Birdie's generous offer of a night on the sofa at Mum and Dad's house near the end of the runway. They all enter the house together but Birdie and Elbie soon make themselves scarce leaving Lena to poke around. Dad (Perry Benson) soon quashes any of Lena's concerns about falling asleep by sneaking up on her and knocking her out. He then whips out his trusty syringe and numbers her vocal chords, possibly as he has heard about her reputation for mumbling in her sleep.

Lena awakes to sweet chirps of a tortured human and is greeted by an overexcited, bloodsoaked Dad and a concerned Mum (Dido Miles). Mum explains that Lena mustn't get mad if she wants to be part of the family as it makes Dad excited. Still unable to speak Lena is told that she is the newest addition to the family and to abide by family rules. Family rules are being tortured slaves of the deranged parents whose parental needs are satisfied by brainwashing their adoptees into submission due to the disappointment in their only true seed who had an accident with an umbilical cord during birth.

Lena is subjected to a degrading regime of torture and abuse from the misfit family with seemingly no way of escape. The overall theme of this serving of British exploitation is darkly satirical in an excessively demented way, the acting is of a high quality and the desperation of Lena and the twistedness of the rest of the family is convincing enough to make you think twice about visiting friends for dinner. The story is simple but this allows the whole disturbing scenario and the pointlessness of the evil to shine through and make Mum and Dad an exceptionally disconcerting movie. This is straight up horror for straight up horror-heads and gratifyingly displays that there is still a market for old-skool exploitation.
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Categories: British Horror Movies
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