When Lena meets Birdie and Elbie, she doesn’t realise that her life is about to get horrifyingly worse.
I’m not a huge fan of torture porn – and that’s a large part of what Mum & Dad is about. There’s a decent amount of gore spattered throughout the film, with some scenes definitely aiming to maximise the gross factor. There’s one scene in particular where…well, if you’ve seen the movie, you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you? Yeah. Bleh.
Thankfully, that’s not all that this movie is about. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that despite its use of gore and violence, it’s primarily a psychological horror. Lena and her reaction to events are our main focus, with the physical aspects of the film used to ratchet up the tension. The lack of nudity for the sake of titillation seems to support this idea, as what you do see is meant to disturb you, not turn you on.
I kept finding myself thinking that Mum & Dad is what we’d get if the Texas Chainsaw Massacre had been made by the British, and more emphasis had been placed on the dynamics inside the household. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but there are definitely scenes that make me think the filmmakers were at least nodding in the direction of their forebears.
So, while torture porn might not do anything for me, I ended up liking Mum & Dad more than I might have expected. The performances were mostly strong (with Birdie being the weakest link in this particular chain), the story was good, and the gross stuff was suitably gross. I’m not sure there’s much more that could have been asked of a movie like this.