“ Genre: Horror / Suitable for 18 years and over / Director: Steven Sheil / Actors: Dido Miles, Perry Benson, Olga Fedori ... / DVD released 2008-12-26 at Revolver Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL „
I have a total love of all things horror...providing I am not alone and my poor long suffering mate watches them with me and who now has terrible bad nerves because of it lol. I hadn't heard of this one till a mate of my mentioned it and off I went to Amazon.co.uk and bought myself a used but in good condition copy of it for £3.00.
Film Only Review:
Lena (Olga Fedori) is Polish and works as a cleaner in Heathrow airport. Being new there she meets the loud and brash Birdie (Ainsley Howard) who is also a cleaner and later her brother who also works at the airport, Elbie (Toby Alexander).
Birdie asks Lena at the end of their shift if Lena would like to join her and her brother for a drink at a local pub but Lena refuses as she has to get the bus home but after missing it Birdie takes the blame for making her miss her bus, explains to Lena she only lives a short distance with Mum and Dad and her brother from the airport and Lena can stay there for night to save the time and money it would take her to cross London at that time of night.
As Birdie goes to speak to her parents in the house a slightly unnerved Lena gets smashed to the ground and wakes up tied up and with no voice and her hair in plaits!
As quick as that we jump into a very gruesome story. The house is a mess, the mum and dad strict with their 'children'...... in their warped minds abuse is family behaviour. Dad walks around covered in blood, porn plays whilst they all have breakfast and Lena soon gets cut up and put to work within the house and earning her keep. There is always a sinister undertone within this household with bags of body parts being thrown out and burnt, Lena being starved for misbehaving and at any point you feel someone could be hurt/tortured or even raped.
This to me was a truly shocking film. There's plenty of blood and guts about and people making meals out of body parts and the likes like its all very normal. Behaviour. Perry Benson (Dad) and Dido Miles (Mum) are very British and this is a low budget British movie which for me took me a bit of getting into. Mum was fabulous, one minute loving her 'children' the next crazed and cutting Lena up (who she names Angel) and Ainsley who played Birdie played the jealous other daughter very well indeed.
Was it predictable? No not at all. I didn't know what was going to happen next and this film went out of its way to twist and turn and to keep me on the edge of my seat. I do feel that Olga Fedori and Perry Benson stole the show and all in all both myself and my mate rather enjoyed this film (if that's the right way to describe it lol). It had the potential to be better and the music in it was rubbish and unmentionable really but the acting was good enough and I have never seen a film such as this one before!
18 film and rightly so too!
If you are a horror fan the same as me give this a go. I brought this for my friend for christmas becausea s i told her it was the sickest film i have seen. I am quite a film buff and have got my way through a far amount of horror films including all the ones such as saw and hostel that are really there for the shock factor instead of the scare factor. I have to warn you this is by far the film that had me gagging for its shock factors but as appose to other films of its kind it had a storyline and i found it compelling to watch and the fact that the mum and dad reminded me of fred and rose west made the film even more frightening as it always is when you can actual see the face of the deranged torturer and killer. This is not for the faint hearted and will make you want to be sick which i think is reason enough to watch it.
Polish immigrant Lena (Olga Fedori) becomes the new edition to the family when she misses her bus home after completing her shift as a cleaner at Heathrow Airport.
As if missing the bus wasn't bad enough, she has no idea what awaits her when she accepts an invitation to stay at her work colleague Birdie's (Ainsley Howard) house along with her "brother" Elbie (Toby Alexander), who also works at the airport.
When the three arrive home, Lena is left to Mum and Dad who seem delighted with their new toy. Dad (Perry Benson) knocks Lena unconcious and injects her before tying her up in a dingy, filthy looking room where the fun begins. Here Lena is subjected to the most brutal and twisted kind of torture.
There are some very sick and disturbing scenes. Possibly one of the most disturbing is when Lena and Mum (Dido Miles) enter a room to find Dad, wearing a smelly blood-stained vest, masturbating, but not as you may think. This disgusted even me and I can handle all things sick and gory usually.
Lena spends her days cleaning and trying her best not to get on the wrong side of Mum and Dad because she knows what will happen if she does. She does her best to act as part of the family, all the while plotting an escape.
I like the family dynamic. In some parts it's almost as if they are a normal family and it would be hard to imagine that such sick and twisted things take place. An example of this is a breakfast scene where the family look like any other ordinary family, the only difference being that pornography is being shown on the television in the kitchen.
The acting is great in my opinion and make the characters very believable.
The whole film is pretty weird indeed. I think that it would offend a lot of people, it's certainly not something you would sit down with your nan to watch. But, if you think you could handle it, I would definitely recommend watching it.
If you have seen this and like it, I would also recommend watching Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door. It's based on a true story and is wickedly gruesome and quite similar to Mum and Dad.
Mum and Dad had been recommended by various newspaper reviews as an excellent horror film and whilst I've enjoyed a bit of British horror lately in the form of the likes of Eden Lake, Mum and Dad is a load of rubbish.
The introduction part involves an airport cleaner talking to an immigrant worker called Lena. It was at this point when I realised the film was going to be a load of bunkum, Lena is supposed to be Polish in the film but despite the name existing in Polish as an abbreviation, it's pretty rare that you actually meet them and Olga Fedori's accent was completely inaccurate, just coming across exactly as she is - an American Ukrainian.
There is a lot of strangeness in this film throughout from Birdie's in your face outgoingness through to her brother Elbie's silence but it's only when poor old Lena gets dooped into returning to their pad to stay with their mum and dad, that the horror kicks off.
I didn't get a great deal of the humour factor that had been mentioned in previous reviews, the majority of the film is just sickening torture in a perverted atmosphere, that looks slow and painful.This is definitely not the kind of horror film that I like (which is one with a funny element), the use of phrases that parents usually use to children throughout is rather sick, as is the blood stained porn addicted father's presence in general and not just because he's a grotesquely shaped lad!
I'd give this one a miss, if I were you.
Now this is what I would call a horror. It's dark, bleak, relentless, gory and just plain sick at times. Mum & Dad is not for the squeamish.
It centres around Lena, a Polish girl who is working at a local airport as a cleaner. She is befriended by loudmouth Birdie and her shy brother Elbie. Unfortunately for Lena, she misses her bus home after work one night and is offered a bed and some food by Birdie. The only catch is she will have to go to Elbies Mum and Dad's house and this is where the horror begins...
From the offset Lena is imprisoned and physically and mentally tortured by the whole family. On the outside appearing as the average happy family, the characters are fantastically creepy and brilliant in their roles as sexually peverse murderers behind closed doors.
The film follows Lena as she attempts to escape from her captors whilst enduring horrendous physical and mental torture.
A great quality British horror. Not for the whole family!
I hadn;t really heard anything about this film until my boyfriend started going on about it. Mum and dad tells the story of a family who kidnap and take in people and use them in sick sadistic ways. The mum uses them as something she can play with and torture and the dad uses them when mum is sick of them and he kills them. This film i think was meant to be very simlilar to the moors murderers i think, in showing the type of house and environment that they lived in. I personally thought this film was ok, but i don't think i would or could watch it again. It features alot of torture scence that can be hard to watch and maybe even upsetting at times. Throughout the film you are willing the girl to escape mum and dads evil clutches. The most disturbing thing about this film is the way in which the family act as if what they are doing is completely normal. They carry on with their everyday life thinking that what they are doing is right. It is a good film, but i would only watch once. I'd say give it a try but you'd have to have a strong stomach if you do watch it.
Having desensitised myself to horror films from a very young age, films that actually disturb me are hard to come by - a notable exception being the British offering of Eden Lake which relied heavily on portraying just how gruesome human nature can truly be.
Mum & Dad takes the same, albeit slightly less plausible, but by no means less chilling, route as Eden Lake to both horrify and fascinate the viewer with the unspeakable depravities human beings are capable of.
A young Polish immigrant Lena (Olga Fedori) is stranded at Heathrow Airport after missing the last bus home and has no option but to return to the home of some newly acquired friends, siblings Birdie (Ainsley Howard) and Elbie (Toby Alexander). All seems fine until events take a ghastly turn for the worse when Lena finds herself drugged, chained and finally meeting the parents who would like nothing better than for Lena to join the family...
While this film could have chosen to have been a gore fest (which I always think is the sign of a weak horror film) I feel some credit is deserved for keeping the atrocities to the periphery to create the unsettling feeling of knowing something dreadful is happening but not knowing what or when. That's not to say however that there weren't a few fine moments to unsettle the viewer - the most notable being the severely mutilated but yet somehow still alive man crucified to the living room wall or the result of masturbating into human flesh.
What I also like about this film is that the severe dysfunction and clear lack of motivation of the family is never explained - it just is. The incredibly bizarre behaviour of this family also leads to some darkly comical moments such as the way the family can be carrying out a normal conversation whilst body parts are being dragged across the kitchen floor for disposal. And what could be more normal than some quality family bonding time such as mother and daughter murdering an unfortunate man or father and son beating a girl in a suitcase with a mallet.
The acting was of a pretty high standard for an occasionally noticeable low budget film - Dido Miles (Mum) and Perry Benson (Dad) played their roles very well with Mum switching seamlessly between a doting mother one minute and unpredictably crazy the next and Dad... well... just acting unpredictably crazy. Birdie and Elbie were also well cast as the extremely maladjusted "offspring" with the manipulative and sadistic character of Birdie played delightfully.
Lena's character was fairly strong for the role as heroine - although practically silent throughout the whole film and seemingly detached from all the horrors around her it was the fact that she had accepted her fate very early on and was calmly biding her time for any possibility of escape which made her so likable. Suffice to say, the ending was a satisfying one.
One thing possibly lacking from the movie was the use of music to create tension - it seemed like the film was never really trying to create edge-of-your-seat terror, more to disturb through the general horrendousness of it all. Any film that has an actress credited as Female Torso gets my vote.
If you're in the mood to be psychologically disturbed Mum & Dad is worth your time. 6/10.
Mum And Dad is a 2008 horror film directed by Steven Sheil. He's not a big star and with this film in mind I can't imagine him becoming one in the future. He has only a limited catalogue of work that includes: Goth Cruise, Love Takes, Cry and Shifting Units. I've never heard of any of them and after seeing Mum And Dad I have no reason to want to see them either.
Mum And Dad doesn't have any major actors in it. The only person I recognised was Perry Benson who made an appearance in This Is England. The other person that you may know is Olga Fedori who appeared briefly in Eastenders and in the first series of Skins in the Russia episode.
Olga Fedori plays Lena, a cleaner who works at Heathrow airport, one day she befriends birdie who then introduces her to her brother Elbie. When Lena has no way of getting home, Birdie suggests Lena comes home with her and her brother and their Dad will surely give her a lift home. Not thinking anything of it Lena accepts her kind offer and goes home with the siblings, on arrival Birdie goes to find her Dad, unfortunately for Lena, Birdie's Dad has already spotted her and knocks her over the head and drugs her.
The nightmare isn't over yet though as when Lena comes round she is introduced to her new Mum and Dad who inform her of the rules they live their twisted lives by. She must not scream, she must not try to escape and there are never any secrets between the family, if any of these rules are broken then Dad will deal with her and you know straight away that a slight telling off wont be the punishment. Throughout her ordeal Lena must learn that she needs to either accept her new family and embrace their way of life or she can try to escape... of course escaping would be a lot easier if you weren't always handcuffed to railings, drugged and beaten with mallets!
I honestly don't know what made me want to watch this... infact thinking about it now, I didn't. I watched this at a friends, they had bought this on DVD on the premise that it would be a good horror film so we decided we might as well give it a go as we had nothing else to do at 4am.
On the cover of the film it has the very proud title of being named one of the best British horror films of the last decade. That's quite a title isn't it? Well I can't remember who quoted that but they must be either extremely disturbed or they have immensely bad taste in films because I would say that this is probably one of, if not the worst horror film I've ever seen... infact forget the horror part, this is the worst film I've ever seen.
Despite me hating this I did manage to watch it all the way through, the fact that it's shorter than 90 minutes did help though because if it was any longer I believe I would have very likely given up on it.
There's simply no story to this film at all, with a film like this I wasn't expecting much from it but as it went on I was hoping that you would find out why they turned out this way but unfortunately you end the film none the wiser than you were when this started. It's just mindless torture and violence for no apparent reason which I don't only find sick but I find it really unnecessary. The point of watching a film in my opinion is that you don't know what's going to happen or why somethings happening but as the film unravels you get some sort of inclination as to why this is happening or why people are acting the way they are.
The actually filming of Mum and Dad I found to be very strange and extremely pointless. When it cut to the next scene it wouldn't just do a simple cut it would show you shots of planes taking off from Heathrow airport, although they were probably the most exciting and riveting parts of the film they were also extremely pointless and if they weren't used it would have probably made this film about 5 minutes shorter which would have been even more of a relief for me!
With a plot like this film you expect to be kept on the edge of your seat the whole way through but this film did absolutely nothing for me whatsoever. After about 20 minutes of the pointless torture and violence this film becomes very tedious and after an hour I couldn't wait for this to finish. The only reason I stuck it out to the end was because I assumed that we would discover the reason behind the sick and twisted family but unfortunately you don't, that was 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back!
If any of you have ever seen My Family or The Royal Family then just picture them torturing and raping each other for no apparent reason and you'll probably have an accurate idea of what this film is about. Another friend of mine who's seen this actually told me that this was based on truth, this is something that isn't mentioned anywhere in the film and I think that the fact that this is possibly based on truth may make this a bit more appealing to some people. The only thing I can think that this may be based on is Fred And Rose West and even then, they were in prison before I was even born so it's not something I know a lot about.
Mum And Dad isn't really that focused on the blood and guts which wasn't what I was expecting and that's one of the reasons infact the only reason that this film stands out amongst other horrors. It focuses more upon the psychological aspect which in a lot of ways can be more terrifying than the actual violence. I think one reason why the film didn't have a reason for the families ways is maybe that they thought it would be more horrifying if there was no motive however I really do feel like there should have been because if there's no reason then there's no point in watching this film. Without a reason then all you're watching is psychological horror and torture which unless you're actually Fred West yourself isn't very easy or entertaining to watch.
The one scene that sticks in my head the most is the masturbation scene where the whole family walks in on Dad masturbating into a piece of flesh. I suppose in a way it makes it more frightening that they find the whole torture thing sexual but I feel that there was really no need for it and although there's no actual full-frontal nudity it's still very disturbing to watch. Another thing that annoyed me about this film is that they had porn on in the background when they were watching TV which isn't particularly disturbing but more needless and irritating.
When I read the synopsis before watching this I imagined that it was just going to be a bloody horror film on the lines of Saw or Hostel. I'm a big fan of Saw but absolutely hated Hostel however I would rather watch Hostel 100 times before watching this again. Above all the pointless horror and torture this film is simply dull, something like this should easily have you gripped and entrawled but this film doesn't.
I can safely say that there are no redeeming features about this film and if you're looking for an over-hyped, pointless, disgusting and unnecessary horror then you've definitely found what you're looking for, however if you're easily disturbed, don't like to be put to sleep or simply like to be interested by the horror films that you watch then Mum And Dad should be avoided at all costs.
If you're crazy enough to want to watch this film then be my guest, I challenge you to watch this and not be even a little disturbed but most of all annoyed at the ending and the fact that there's simply no justification for this film at all.
The DVD is currently available from play.com for £5.99, it's not expensive but I wouldn't even pay that to watch this film, infact I wouldn't pay anything to watch this film again!
The special features include:
Director and Producer Commentary
'Through a Vulture Eye' - A short film by Steven Sheil
Cast and Crew Q&A at Film4 FrightFest 2008
Interview with Steven Sheil
8 on-set interviews with cast and crew
Perry Benson, Director Steven Sheil, Producer Lisa Trnovski, Cinematographer, Special Effects Supervisor, Sounds Recordist, Make-Up Designer and Production Designer
A review of just the film, the region 2 DVD was released on December 26th 2008, notably simultaneously with the film's release at the cinema and for download. Some readers may find some of the descriptions used within this review unpleasant and should be warned that this is not a film for anyone who is easily offended.
Lena, a Polish immigrant, works as a cleaner for the night shift at Heathrow airport. At work one night she meets Birdie (so called because she never shuts up) and her brother Elbie (who is the complete opposite and never says a word.) Missing the bus home, she reluctantly agrees to go back to Birdie and Elbie's house, where, she is promised, Birdie's Dad will be able to give her a lift home. At the house, she is initially left alone whilst Birdie goes to get her father, but is promptly drugged and passes out on the floor. When she wakes up, she discovers that Birdie and Elbie's Mum and Dad are far from normal and that she is a prisoner in a filthy room. Tortured and brutalised in unimaginable ways she realises that she must escape. But in order to survive long enough to even think about getting away, she must convince Mum and Dad that family comes before everything....
The family unit is a common source of inspiration for writers and film makers. We can't normally choose our family members, but in Mum and Dad, the titular protagonists do just that, abducting vulnerable people from their airport place of work and doing everything in their power to subject them to the family's will. At a superficial level, writer director Steven Sheil's feature is yet another torture porn, albeit this time funded by the National Lottery. Lurking some way beneath the surface, however, is an occasionally wry observation on family life and the (very literal) trials and tribulations concerned.
It's never easy viewing. Curiously light on obvious blood and guts, Sheil instead opts to torture the audience with the sheer brutality of the situation, bringing out the grue at relatively infrequent intervals merely to jolt us out of our shocked stupor. In Mum and Dad, the family members are all grotesque in slightly different ways, but the one thing that becomes immediately obvious is that they're all incarnations of our worst nightmares come true - and for Lena, this may be a nightmare from which she never wakes up. The majority of the film's running time is set claustrophobically within the confines of the family's little house, itself a bizarre contradiction of suburban normality in the kitchen transposed against the harsh bricks of a filthy bedroom torture chamber. For Mum and Dad, appearances are everything and as long as everybody appears to be happy (both internally and to the outside world) then that's surely enough. Right?
The trouble is, of course, that Mum and Dad are completely, absolutely insane and their house of horrors seems to yield one grotesque discovery after another. Sheil acknowledges this early on his narrative and subsequently, the audience tends to cringe and wince with every sudden camera movement, never entirely sure what will happen next. The film initially pushes the boundaries of taste, showing us, for example, Dad masturbating into a piece of freshly-cleaved human meat before the clock has even reached 30 minutes, a rather unpleasant looking white fluid dribbling down the fleshy lump to the horror of all the director's victims. It sets a tone for a film where anything should go but, crucially, the director wimps out on us and never quite manages to maintain the pace and distasteful tone thrust in our face by a semen-laden lump of flesh. Thereafter, it's often quite nasty but just never manages to plumb those same depths of depravity that, rightly or wrongly, we were led to believe were to come.
For his gorno narrative, Sheil could really only ever have pursued one of two directions and, disappointingly, goes for the easier of the two. Like The Hamiltons without anybody even remotely sexy in it, the suburban nightmare is so confined to the house that it starts to become frustratingly slow. This is, of course, partly the point. Lena is held captive in a house where escape is very, very difficult, and must therefore bide her time, meaning that we (the audience) must sit and watch one horrible thing after another hoping, nay praying, that she finally mages to give Mum and Dad their comeuppance. It's a deliberate plot device, but Sheil makes the mistake of failing to give Lena (and us) any shred of hope until we've wound ourselves up so far that whatever the outcome is, it simply won't be satisfying enough. The tone is completely matter-of-fact too, devoid of music or atmospherics in any way. It's almost like a cold, clinical, brutal documentary but it's still (weirdly) extremely difficult to find the film frightening. It doesn't seem to evoke any kind of emotional response at all.
Take the horror film lustre away for one minute, however, and Mum and Dad is actually rather more appealing than it sounds. The devilishly simple script demonstrates the family's lack of intelligence, somehow mimicking the likes of The Royle Family in a monstrous and yet still bizarrely humorous fashion. Birdie is the dim-witted daughter, who talks nothing but nonsense and really only wants to be loved. The family might spend its time butchering and torturing but, ironically, still falls out over a relatively normal premise - lying to your parents or dropping dirt on the kitchen floor. It's just that in the case of the latter, the dirt happens to have dropped out of a bag full of human body parts. The family still celebrates Christmas - they just happen to have a real man nailed to a cross on the wall. Some reviewers have described it as darkly comical. That seems slightly misleading, given that few people would find anything to laugh about here. But the irony of this grotesque family, butchering on the one hand and arguing like something off Eastenders on the other is hard not to notice and (albeit begrudgingly) acknowledge.
The performances are a mixed bag. Olga Fedori's unfortunate Lena is strangely unemotional about the whole thing. Barely speaking a word (she is drugged for most of the film's running time) she has a terrible time of it, and yet is strangely unsympathetic. As a result, she never feels entirely believable. Mum (Dido Miles) and Dad (Perry Benson) are rather better at what they do, with Miles' creepy and occasionally affectionate Mum a strong contrast to Benson's brutal and disgusting Dad. The actor and actress's ability to shift from normality to lunacy gives them considerable screen presence. Ainsley Howard's motormouthed Birdie is, by far, the most irritating of them all, albeit deliberately, and probably the nastiest too. Howard manages to get this across and convinces us completely of her spiteful, trouble-making nature. Mute brother Elbie (Toby Alexander) doesn't get anything to say, and must, therefore rely on facial expression and body language to get by which he does, to a certain extent. But with two characters stay in almost complete silence, Elbie's silent manner doesn't really have the impact that it might otherwise have done.
It's hard to know how to feel about Mum and Dad. It's not a particularly effective gorno, actually being rather light on shocks and gore and doesn't feel like anything we haven't seen before. As a study of your average family, however, it has a little bit more to say and the combination of the two makes it intriguing, uncomfortable but ultimately unmemorable viewing. This is never a taste that you could acquire but viewers with an open mind might just appreciate a sample.