I shall be judging Mom and Dad, analysing their decisions and watching how they act to determine if they’re role models or need to be grounded. So read on only if you’ve already seen Mom and Dad, or don’t plan to.
0:00:32 The film begins with a woman abandoning a child in a minivan parked between two warning barriers on the railroad tracks. I suspected this movie might be a train wreck.
[N.B. The good news is this scene is not a flash forward, it simply serves as a precursor for the madness yet to come.]
0:00:48 🎵 The song playing during the 70s style opening credits is ‘Yesterday When I Was Young’, as performed by Dusty Springfield.
[As I could find no soundtrack online, I created one of my own and have included it at the bottom of this synopsis.]
0:02:12 A young woman (Anne Winters as Carly Ryan) is speaking on her mobile with her boyfriend (Robert Cunningham as Damon Hall). He’s on his way to take a standardised exam (PSAT) while she’s lying on the bed in a decidedly Saturday morning manner.
0:02:54 Cage’s family in this film look better than the one he Left Behind.
0:03:01 When her mum is in the shower, Carly suspiciously eyes her bag on the bed like a hyena smelling a grilled piglet with a broken leg.
0:03:41 Breakfast time in the kitchen and the news is the story of the woman who abandoned her child in a car on the train tracks [see 0:00:32]. The child learned the wrong way to catch a train…
0:05:48 While mum (the blessed Selma Blair as Kendall Ryan) drives Carly to who knows where, Carly texts who knows who (Riley) that she’s “got the $$”, which sheds light on the foreshadowing at 3:01. Lol, and then we get a flashback to her actually stealing the $100 because the director hopes we’re just that stupid. Oh, and WTF that her mum won’t notice a missing $100. My parents would notice if I’d stolen a moment.
0:09:02 The father (Nicolas Cage as Brent Ryan), plays with his son (Zackary Arthur as Josh Ryan) and then leaves for work and I still would like to know what day it is. Is it Saturday or a weekday? They need to make up their minds.
0:09:22 After looking at his reflection in the car window and realising he doesn’t remember getting old, Brent has flashes of a younger man doing doughnuts in a car park with a topless woman on his lap squeezing his face between her bosoms. Like a motorboat in the front seat, it’s a tight squeeze.
[🎵 The song heard during this scene is ‘Prepare To Die’ by Russell Goldstein and I was unable to find it online. Are you there, Russell? Care to share?]
0:10:04 It seems to be not Saturday as the classrooms are full but this does not explain why Carly had such a leisurely morning at the house [I never had any free time after waking up for high school!] and why little Josh is still home, playing around in his pyjamas. Perhaps director Brian Taylor took his Saturday meds early and now he’s counting the daze.
[🎵 The radio song heard during the school montage is ‘I Know That You Pussies Don’t Want It’, by Bill $aber. It’s on the playlist at the bottom of the synopsis.]
0:10:58 Carly has her phone confiscated by a teacher and I mention it here because this sort of event is like a ghost who is owed money: it comes back to haunt people.
0:13:16 Now we’re subjected to a flashback when Josh rescues a kitten, places it in a shoe-box in his father’s Trans Am and feeds it dry breakfast cereal. The next morning, still in the flashback, his father finds the dead kitten stinking up the car. And the shoe-box.
0:13:24 Josh is jerked from his reverie by the sounds of the maid’s daughter (Adin Alexa Steckler as Jin-Lisa) being bludgeoned with a meat tenderiser. I’d love to see that (but unfortunately it’s off-screen).
[🎵 ‘Click Click’ by Rengle and on my playlist.]
0:16:04 Carly’s best mate Riley (Olivia Crocicchia) answers the teacher in single digits.
0:16:47 The classroom phone (WTF!?) begins ringing of the hook and emergency vehicles swarm the school. So, another Tuesday in the U. S. of A.
Test proctor (Christine Dye as Administrator): Look at ‘em. Like they’re waiting for a buffet.
While Carly’s boyfriend Damon takes his PSAT exam, the parents waiting at the door over 1 hour early look pretty testy themselves.
0:18:26 In the Ladies’, Carly gives the wad of bills to a dealer who doesn’t even count the money (WTF!?) before giving Carly and Riley 4 pills in a sealed sweets sachet. They get a worse deal than Native Americans playing poker drunk on Manhattans.
0:18:57 A fire alarm sounds in the school and, as everyone evacuates, the police pull a mother off a fence and take her into custody. I think it’s safe to say that the plot revolves around some sort of virus that affects parents and makes them want to kill their own children. More than usual.
[For example, before the child was murdered at 13:24, her mother was using a meat tenderiser. And the impatient parents at 17:30. And the mother who left her child to be run over by a train at the beginning of the film was patient zero.]
0:20:22 At the entrance to the school, following the fire alarm, police create a barrier between the youths and the parents clamouring for their offspring. The teenagers are their blood and flesh, after all.
0:21:08 One lad breaks away from the crowd and runs towards his mother (Jennifer Roopenian as Evan’s mum). After she pulls him over the metal fence, she stabs him repeatedly with her car keys. Perhaps she’s simply trying to turn him on.
0:21:41 The parents break through the wall of protection and there’s a stampede of high schoolers running for their lives. One father places a bin liner over his daughter’s head and suffocates her. Let’s hope she enjoys getting trashed.
0:24:04 When Damon arrives home after his exam, his alcoholic father awakens from a stupor, and begins beating his son. You know what they say, if you can’t beat them, beat your son.
0:24:52 He then begins attacking his son with a broken bottle, but falls and stabs himself in the neck in the process. Alcoholics often die by the bottle, I’m told.
0:29:24 Back at Riley’s home, Carly watches the news about how, nationwide, parents are killing their children. Meanwhile, Riley lights up a joint and discovers from a fresh margarita in the mixer that her mother is in the house somewhere, apparently racing her to the highest point.
0:29:52 Carly finds a bloke on the telly talking about ‘savaging’ in the wild kingdom, in which a mother kills her litter. Or what I do to trolls.
0:30:32 Meanwhile, in the bedroom, Riley has found her mother. Carly hears noises and goes to investigate because they’re not the sort of noises one wants to hear made by a mother and daughter coming from the bedroom. (A struggle, you pervs!)
0:31:34 In the hospital, Kendall watches the news in the waiting room when she goes to meet her sister who’s about to have a baby. A talking head says a biological weapon could’ve been developed which reverses the parental instinct and would cause parents to attack their children and thus eliminate the species. Personally, I’m more curious as to if Kendall’s sister Jeanne (Rachel Melvin) is going to kill her own baby…
0:33:22 It didn’t take me long to be right. After the wall monitor cuts to static (reminding us that Damon’s father was asleep in front of a static pattern in his telly, as well [see 24:04], and that the sound of static is associated with a parent losing it), Jeanne hugs her newborn tighter and tighter in an effort to love that baby to death.
0:36:02 Brent (the father, remember him?) has fallen asleep at his desk in his office with pornography on his computer (and WTF!?), only to wake up and reject his wife’s call on his mobile and tell his secretary he’s not taking any calls. I’m not surprised–the only way men can multitask is phone sex.
0:37:04 Meanwhile, in the hospital maternity ward…
0:39:18 Carly and Damon arrive at her house to collect her little brother, Joshua. The find the maid, Sun-Yi (Sharon Gee), cleaning up after killing her daughter. Housework is murder…and vice versa.
0:41:20 Brent comes home early, after the maid has left. He’s angry at finding Damon there, but psycho at finding his son there.
0:43:04 Carly and Joshua run and hide in the basement after Brent knocks Damon out. There are a lot of tools and broken boards in the basement, along with a flashback to 3 weeks ago.
0:44:38 In said flashback, Brent assembles a pool table to the tune of ‘Anytown’, by Reagan Youth. And then, when Kendall questions him on the wisdom of this purchase so choose to Christmas, he disassembles the table with a sledgehammer to the tune of the Hokey Pokey.
I used to be Brent. And you used to be Kendall. But now we’re just….mom and dad.
After an emotional climax in which Brent rails against growing older and Kendall whines about being a mum, no one addresses the broken pool table in the room. Or the fact that this wins the most cuttable scene of the film and it happens to be the movie’s centrepiece. Like when you work all week on a uni paper you’re proud of and then your teacher fails you because you suck.
0:52:09 Back to the present, Kendall talks to Carly and Joshua through the basement door. We’re unsure if Kendall is honestly concerned for her kids or if she’s lying like a politician on the job. [Wait, they just played the scratchy sound in her head. Kendall has gone to the dark side.]
0:52:56 You know what’s more cruel than parents killing their own children? This movie just made Nicolas Cage try to act! 😲
0:54:31 Well done! While Kendall saws through the basement door with an electric saw, Brent goes to get the family gun–only to find it’s missing! Then BLAM BLAM and we cut to Joshua holding a smoking gun after shooting blindly through the basement door. He winged his mum, but he nailed the door.
0:58:28 The latest plan is for the parents to feed gas into the cellar by attaching a garden hose to the gas intake for the cooker and running it through the kitchen, out the front door, around the side of the house and into a crack in the frame of a basement window. That hose feels almost as long as this film.
1:00:32 It takes a reasonable amount of time to fill the cellar with gas, so no complaints on that count, but that there seems to be no activity from any public authority in the 12+ hours since the terror began seems at least a little WTFy.
1:01:12 Also, Carly knows there’s gas in the cellar but doesn’t even begin to look for the source until after waiting 6 hours, when all she’d have to do would be to nudge the hose one inch. Millennials are so lazy!
1:04:21 The kids seem to have found a safe hiding place after having breathed gas the entire evening. They might’ve started looking for shelter when they first noticed they were dying.
1:04:55 Carly creates a booby trap with matches taped to the bottom of the cellar door so that when it opens the matches light and ignite the gas creating a devastating explosion. You know how I know it was a booby trap? It caught Nicolas Cage.
1:06:32 The WTF is starting to mount. Somehow Carly crawls from a cubbyhole in the cellar to the top floor of the house and she waits for her mum to awaken from the post-explosion stupor before trying to escape. There are easier ways to commit suicide, Carly.
1:08:44 Damon comes to (after being unconscious for the past 8 hours) and helps Carly block her mother in the closet like John Travolta.
1:09:27 While Damon and Carly sit against the closet door telling jokes and not caring they’re holding back an adult woman who wants to kill them, Kendall reaches out and jabs the end of a wire hanger through Damon’s face. At least now he’ll be able to hang around more often.
1:10:21 WTF!? The kids successfully run past their parents (for some reason, Nicolas Cage has returned to the land of the living) but don’t try to run out the front door to safety!? Instead they simply stand in the living room begging for mercy but I’m so angry at their stupidity I hope they die fast and die hard.
1:11:14 While the parents decide to just stand there and not kill their kids, the doorbell sounds. Kendall says she’d forgotten Brent’s parents are coming for dinner that evening. Am I seriously the only one who doesn’t see that her in-laws are going to try to kill Brent because that’s what parents do in this film?
1:11:24 The oldies spray mace in Brent’s face and then cut him with a knife and I’m just sitting here bored and unimpressed because I saw it coming even before it started moaning.
1:13:51 We interrupt a chase scene around the house for a flashback in which Brent tells Joshua about being young and stealing his dad’s car to drive around with a tottie, which is the flashback with the topless woman on the driver’s lap while they make doughnuts in the car park. [See 9:22]
1:16:01 Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Kendall maces her mother-in-law and then clobbers her on the head with the meat tenderiser. That’s one way to soften up your mother-in-law.
1:16:14 Lol, now for some obscure reason, Carly finally decides to run out of the house. Like many parents, I thought she’d never leave home.
1:16:42 The boys were fighting in the garage and accidentally started the Firebird, which they drove through the garage door, killing Brent’s mum who was fighting Kendall in the drive and killing Brent’s dad who was hanging on the bonnet.
1:17:06 It’s Damon ex machina’s turn to return from the dead. He sneaks up on Kendall by walking directly at her (WTF) and knocks her out with a shovel, if you can dig that.
We want to trust you, we really do. But you don’t make it easy.
Carly uses parent language on her folks when they awaken the next morning tied to a pole. It’s as effective on them as her parents’ words were on her.
Kendall: Don’t you know we love you both more than anything in the whole world
Brent: But sometimes we…sometimes we just want to–
And the film ends as incompletely as that sentence. For a film that’s under 90 minutes long, they could’ve gone on long enough to give us a real ending. Or this might be the precise instant their funding ran out.
[N.B. 🎵 The song in the credits is ‘Even Still’, by falsehead, which is not on Spotify at the time of this writing.]
- WTF!?’s: 10 childish ones
- When to Follow: When you’re in the mood for some decent action (Brian Taylor co-directed as Neveldine/Taylor some great films like Crank and Crank: High Voltage; but he also co-directed other films, like Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance). Just be prepared to feel as unsatisfied as a woman deflowering a teenage virgin because the ending comes quick and you’ll wish it had gone on for another ten minutes.
- Where’s This Found: Despite the filler that should’ve been cut and the ending that shouldn’t have been, Mom and Dad does have it’s moments. Ultimately, it’s like marrying your lover: exciting at the beginning but then it lets itself go and stops trying. it Out of a possible 10, I have 6 F’s to give.
- What To Feedback:
Left Over WTF (Way Too Funny) Photos
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