Once upon a time there was a film called The Greasy Strangler. I loved it. I told all my friends about it and tried to explain it, which was completely impossible. Still, it remains one of my best loved recent movies and if you have not sought it out, I suggest you do so. 50% of my friends consider it to be genius and 50% consider it to be utter trash. No one has ever described The Greasy Strangler as ‘Ok, I guess’ and that is why I love it. And now, why I love Come To Daddy.
Yes, Come To Daddy is the directorial debut of T.G.S. producer Ant Timpson and both movies share a writer Toby Harvard, who once again gives us a tale of normality meshed with madness in a world so close to our own but also slightly off the edge. Elijah Wood, one of the biggest supporters of The Greasy Strangler plays shy boy Norval who has not seen his father in years and reconnects one day when he randomly receives a letter from him. These scenes of the two of them together feel like a Stoppard or Bennett play, hilarious but tragic, sad but obtuse. When his father starts shouting and ranting and raving about Norval being a C-word (not Covid) and starts brandishing a cleaver, he suddenly keels over and dies. Just like that. Trust me, I am not giving away the twist, this happens in the early part of the film and from there…well, let’s just say Norval’s world falls apart, piece by agonising and occasionally hilarious piece. Like The Greasy Strangler, it will take a few more watches to reveal all its secrets, but I’m ready to enjoy the ride again, the Blu-Ray has some excellent interviews in the extras and the picture quality is superb, but it is the script that is the real winner and the stellar performance by Wood.
Another excellent original rollercoaster ride.