Mum & Dad / I’m Going Travelling
“Mum & Dad”, the impressive debut by writer-director Steven Sheil, is one of the most disturbing Brit-shockers to emerge in recent years. When Lena, a young Polish immigrant working as an office cleaner at Heathrow Airport, misses her last bus home, she accepts an offer of help from friendly co-worker Birdie, who lives nearby with her ‘adoptive’ parents. Knocked unconscious after arriving at the house, Lena soon finds herself imprisoned in a suburban house of horrors, a living nightmare of abuse, torture and murder. Designated a ‘Mummy’s Girl’, Lena’s only options appear to be to become part of the family – and join Mum & Dad in their insanity – or die.
2008 – Certificate 18 – British Film
Strong bloody violence, torture, terrorisation and sex references
7.5 out of 10
I’ve been a pretty lucky bloke over the past few months. I’ve been to Mexico, Bavaria in Germany, the mountains of Colombia, hung out with a rock ‘n’ roll band and met the Devil, flown around Los Angeles with a superhero, gone into space and met an alien (The Alien actually), been hassled by Japanese zombies that live in a toilet; yes, life’s been pretty interesting. Of course I’ve not left my living room either, because that would mean, well, going out, making an effort and mixing with other people. However, I’ve enjoyed these experiences through the films I’ve watched. A much safer, easier, cheaper and more convenient alternative I’m sure you’ll agree. I’ve never understood the urge some people have “to travel”. It sounds like my worst nightmare; a commute that never ends, surrounded by people who don’t speak English and will probably kill or rob you given half a chance; wildlife that will sting you to death or eat you; constantly sick from the weird, contaminated food you’ll be forced to eat; and a rate of exchange that you won’t understand and before you know it you’ll have spent all your money on a can of Coke. Even if you manage to survive all that lot, you’ll end up in prison forever, being buggered by a half human – half religious fanatic, all because you broke some local law you never knew existed, by making what you thought was a friendly gesture to someone. That’s what “going travelling” really means. However, not wanting to miss out on all the fun it offers and on my return the chance to entertain everyone with my stories and deep understanding of how people in other places live their lives, I’ve decided to start plotting all my travel adventures on a map. This will hopefully provide me with a constantly evolving picture of where I’ve been, complete with the odd photo and comment. I look forward to boring sharing this with the world! In a kind of appropriate way, this film takes place near Heathrow Airport in London, which will be the starting point for my global trek.
This is a decent, violent, low-budget horror that has the advantage of being set in a suburban house near Heathrow Airport. It features some pretty normal looking people with normal jobs and an assortment of syringes and basic DIY tools; very British. It’s a refreshing alternative to the endless American versions that tend to take place in the back of beyond and involve some in-bred weirdos having endless bad hair days and an impressive collection of power tools. “Mum & Dad” boasts plenty of realistic looking gore and a cast of suitably deranged characters. Dad is especially freaky. It’s particularly impressive when it subverts normal family life; (for example, instead of breakfast TV on in the background over a typical breakfast, this family has hardcore porn on the telly). Some of the justification used for Lena’s treatment is pretty scary too. The late addition of a couple of extra residents in the house tends to slightly dilute the story a bit, even as it ups the yukiness score. And if I thought about things too hard I started to wonder “why didn’t she just do” this, that or the other to escape, but other than that it’s a solid horror. The scene with the wooden mallet is particularly effective. It’s good to see that my lottery ticket money is being put to such good use. It’s also a film that explains where all that lost luggage at airports end up.
There a limited amount of music used in this movie, other than the big Christmas Day scene, where it rather cleverly makes the likes of “Silent Night” etc rather creepy.
The trailer’s a fair enough representation of the film.
Recommended for cleaners, airport baggage handlers and Polish immigrants.
1 decapitation, no cats or chainsaws.
Top badass moment? Lena looks pretty miserable for most of the movie, as well she might given the circumstances. However, she never really gives up trying to get away, despite all the unpleasantness. That’s badass. Having said that, she was being offered free accommodation. A room in a decent house in the Heathrow area has got to be worth £400 / month and for all they knew, she could have been an axe murderer or something. To be honest, it makes her seem a bit ungrateful.