Written and directed by Steven Shiel , Mum & Dad is a lovely rendition of the classic kidnap and torture motif.
Lena ( Olga Fedori) starts working as a member of a janitorial airport staff where she meets Birdie (Ainsley Howard) and her mute brother Elbie (Toby Alexander). After getting to know each other and finding out that Lena is estranged from her family, Birdie & Elbie ask Lena out for a drink. Lena politely declines, and the pair then seemingly purposefully make Lena miss her bus ride home. Being hospitable people, they invite Lena back to their home and insist that once there, they will make sure to get her home quickly and safely.
Once they arrive, Lena is drugged and bound to a bed in a rundown looking bedroom and awakes to the sounds of a young girl being bludgeoned to death. The father of the family, dad, and his wife, mum, enter through separate doors just seconds apart from each other. Dad is saturated in blood and looks as though he cannot wait to get his hands on Lena, while mum tries to calm her, and insists that because she’s hers no harm will come to her.
As the film progresses, Lena is superficially tortured, and put through the mental anguish of trying to escape and being “punished” upon her failures.
The movie ends with Christmas in October, where the family nails a dying boy to the wall in a crucifixion manner and has their badly scarred and clearly abused secret mentally handicapped daughter hunched over in a wheel chair. There are gifts to be given and dances to be had, and after Lena is given her gift, a dress, Birdie and Elbie are told to escort her upstairs to help her try it on.
She is then bound back to her bed, and begins her final attempt to escape. She’s successful, and kills off the family with exception to Elbie, who was never blatantly cruel to her.
With the catch, torture, kill concept being so classic and debatably overdone, you need something more in a film to keep you interested. While the torture and death scenes are not terribly impressive, the dialogue and relationships between the characters are interesting enough to make up for it. The script seems to be well written, and the execution of the idea was also done well.
I must say that the ending scene of Christmas in October was a fine addition to take the “weird” and the intention to make the audience uncomfortable to the next level. This film is in no way superb or worth a five star rating, but it is better than a lot of things I’ve seen recently. I give it credit for its follow through and for a well executed idea.