Sunday, 7 March 2010

Mum & Dad - DVD - 6/3/10

Written and directed by Steven Shiel "Mum and Dad" is the sort of horror film that could, very easily, be dismissed as a low budget addition to the torture-porn genre and never thought of again. However, that would be a serious mistake as it is, in truth, an ultra-realistic and all too believable vision of life in a house of horrors. Anyone unfamiliar with the stories of the Moors Murderers, Fred and Rose West or the Fritzl case in Germany might find the goings on in "Mum and Dad" fanciful but for those of us who have some knowledge of these cases they are chilling.

When Polish immigrant Lena misses her last bus home after finishing her shift as a cleaner at Heathrow she takes up the offer of help from her new friend Birdie and her brother Eldie. Following them home she finds herself plunged into a nightmarish world of physical and sexual violence at the hands of "mum" and "dad" who live in a world entirely of their own construction where pornography and not GMTV accompany breakfast, where beatings are acceptable punishment for breaking any of their rules and where the children are clearly suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.

There are several disturbing and uncomfortable moments in "Mum and Dad" most of which feature Perry Benson as Dad. He is the sort of psychopathic patriarch that the tabloids fall into a frenzy over whenever they appear. Physically Benson has much in common with Fred West and the nature of some of the crimes does seem uncomfortably close to what occurred in his home when a series of young women (some of whom were his own children) were subjected to horrific abuse and, for many, death.

It is this closeness to the "truth" that means "Mum and Dad" should not be dismissed as just another horror film but should instead be seen as an attempt to force a nation that loves cases like these to look at what it is that they are really discussing around the water cooler.

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