2019 Tribeca Film Festival movie review: ‘Come to Daddy’

April 26, 2019

by Carla Hay

Elijah Wood in "Come to Daddy"
Elijah Wood in “Come to Daddy” (Photo by Jamie Leigh Gianopoulos)

“Come to Daddy”

Directed by Ant Timpson

World premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 25, 2019.

Elijah Wood has been making a lot of eccentric indie films in the years since he starred in the blockbuster “The Lord of the Rings” movies. The extreme horror comedy “Come to Daddy” is his wackiest one so far—and it’s definitely not family-friendly entertainment. This review of “Come to Daddy” won’t contain any spoilers, but people should be warned that this movie is not for those who are easily offended or disturbed by bloody physical violence.

And what might be more unsettling to some people is that “Come to Daddy” has such a gleefully twisted sense of humor that people might find themselves laughing (with a degree of guilt) at some of the absurd things that are said in the movie’s torture scenes. Other people will not want to stick around for the rest of this deliberately nauseating ride; they might be so repulsed that they’ll stop watching the movie before it ends. (I saw plenty of both reactions at the screening I attended. I stayed until the bitter end.)

In “Come to Daddy,” Wood plays the emotionally stunted Norval, a recovering alcoholic and only child still living with his mother, who raised him as a single parent. Norval’s dad left the family when Norval was barely old enough to remember him. So when Norval gets a letter from his estranged father inviting Norval to visit him at his home, he goes out of curiosity and for a possible chance to reconnect with his father. Norval’s father lives in a secluded house near a body of water—it’s a familiar horror-movie device foreshadowing that things are not going to go well with this visit.

Needless to say, there are many twists and turns to the plot where secrets are revealed and people commit heinous acts on each other. “Come to Daddy,” the directorial debut of Ant Timpson, was written by Toby Harvard, who infuses the screenplay with so many over-the-top quips and dialogue, that the movie is not meant to be taken seriously as “torture porn.” This is the kind of movie where a sleazy criminal, after inflicting a lot of bloody mayhem, suddenly declares, “I’m outta here like Vladimir!” If John Waters directed a “Saw” movie, it would have a similar sensibility to “Come to Daddy.” As the central character, Wood carries the film with a campy touch, as Norval starts off with wide-eyed cluelessness until his family visit turns into a nightmare.

How much of a gross-out experience is the violence in “Come to Daddy”? Here’s a partial list of the extreme acts of torture that are in the movie, which isn’t content to show the usual barbarity that’s in a horror flick: Someone is stabbed with an excrement-covered pen. A man is slashed numerous times in the genital area. Someone’s head is covered in Saran wrap and then clubbed repeatedly. Someone’s mouth gets horizontally impaled by an arrow.

And here’s an example of the very dark humor in “Come to Daddy.” Someone who’s been kidnapped explains to another character how his captor gave him a choice of drinking his semen or having his ear cut off—and he chose to have his ear cut off because he was hungry and needed something to eat. The person who hears this story replies that the choice should have been to drink the semen because it contains a lot of protein.

You get the idea. And you might feel like taking a shower after seeing this movie.

UPDATE: Saban Films will release “Come to Daddy” in select U.S. cinemas, digital and VOD on February 7, 2020.

2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo: E3 Coliseum celebrity appearances include Jack Black, Elijah Wood, Darren Aronofsky

June 7, 2018

The following is a press release from Entertainment Software Association:

E3 2018, the world’s most powerful industry showcase for new video game titles and technology, will be held June 12-14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC). For the second year, E3 will open its doors to gamers, giving them access to the show floor and E3 Coliseum.

Coming off the success of its inaugural year in 2017, E3 Coliseum 2018 expands to three full days of panels and presentations from the most compelling, creative voices in entertainment to celebrate how video games shape popular culture. This mainstage event is produced by Geoff Keighley (The Game Awards) and being held at The Novo at L.A. Live, a short walk from the LACC.

This year’s lineup features in-depth panels from the biggest games debuting at E3 2018, as well as speakers from popular culture who have been influenced by video games. Special guests include filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, actor Jack Black, magician Penn Jillette, Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa JoyAvengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo, and actor Elijah Wood. Game creators and studios include Hideo Kojima in conversation with director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard, Xbox’s Phil Spencer, veteran game writer/director Amy Hennig, Epic Games’ Worldwide Creative Director Donald Mustard (Fortnite), and many more. Some of the biggest game franchises in the world will address fans with in-depth presentations on projects such as Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, Marvel’s SPIDER-MANThe Last Of Us Part II, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, and even more games that will be revealed for the first time as part of E3 2018.

E3 Coliseum is open to all E3 2018 badge holders on a first come, first served basis. Fans can line up outside The Novo at L.A. Live beginning on Tuesday, June 12 at 7 a.m. Pacific.

E3 Coliseum and Facebook are giving the global video game community the chance to watch and ask questions during select panels. Fans can visit Facebook.com/E3Expo during E3 Coliseum to watch on Facebook Live and submit questions.

Most panels from E3 Coliseum will be streamed on Twitch, E3’s official streaming partner, as well as Mixer.com, Twitter, and YouTube. Select panels will also streamed on official PlayStation channels.

The full lineup and schedule is available online here. The event hours are as follows:

  • Tuesday, June 12: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    • Featuring: Westworld series creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa JoyElijah WoodHideo KojimaJack Black, and more
  • Wednesday, June 13: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    • Featuring: Camilla LuddingtonJoe Russo, and more
  • Thursday, June 14: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Featuring: Darren Aronofsky and more

SOURCE Entertainment Software Association

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