Steven Sheil, writer/director of the new DVD release, explains in the disc’s extras that he wanted to create a British version of this genre staple, a task at which he certainly succeeds. Olga Fedori (of the upcoming The Wolfman remake) is Lena, a young woman from Poland who gets a job on the cleaning staff of London’s Heathrow Airport. An adorable-but-strange co-worker named Birdie (Ainsley Howard) seems to take a liking to Lena and introduces her to her mute “brother” Elbie (Toby Alexander). When Lena misses the bus one night, Birdie invites her over.
As one might expect, accepting that invitation was not a good idea. Lena is very quickly and intimately
Directed by Steven Sheil and co-starring Dido Miles, Olga Fedori, Toby Alexander and newcomer Ainsley Howard, this boundary-pushing journey into suburban terror is not without its moments of dark humour, but, viewers be warned, Mum & Dad is definitely not a film for the squeamish or the easily offended.
tags: horror, uk film
EDINBURGH — The family that slays together stays together in “Mum & Dad, ” a nightmarish little Brit-horror that makes a virtue of micro-budget limitations. The screenplay takes the harrowing, still fresh-in-the-memory case of suburban serial-killers Fred and Rosemary West as loose basis for a nailbiting shocker — a controversy-courting move that may translate into limited UK theatrical play and healthy DVD action elsewhere. The many festivals hungry for unpleasant, well-made midnight-movie fare should investigate.
First product of London’s Microwave initiative — funding 10 movies costing under £100,000 (about $200,000) apiece — it’s a confident, full-blooded debut from horror-aficionado writer/director Steven Sheil. Focus is on pretty Lena (Olga Fedori), a Polish immigrant working as a cleaner at Heathrow airport. After missing her bus home one night, she accompanies chirpy colleague Birdy (Ainsley Howard) to the latter’s nearby house where she’s promptly knocked unconscious. Lena wakes in a squalid bedroom, helpless prisoner of Birdy’s sadistic “parents, ” known only as Mum (Dido Miles) and Dad (Perry Benson).
Ensuing episodes follow the established pattern seen in many similar claustrophobic-ordeal tales. Various attempts at escape lead to escalating punishments, then a final-reel bloodbath and desperate dash for freedom. In contrast to his resourceful heroine, self-confessed horror-nut Sheil makes little attempt to get away from his chosen genre’s established conventions. That said, the acidic caricature of “family” life within his house of horrors carries satirical bite, while the juxtaposition of kitchen-sink banalities alongside unspeakable nastiness is disturbingly convincing — and sometimes jaggedly, unexpectedly comic.
Styd dug up a trailer for Steven Sheil's Mum & Dad, a UK horror pic that was produced thanks to Film London's Microwave project. The program "challenges film-makers to shoot a full length feature film for up to £100,000" and it really has yielded some good results.
Mum & Dad, played by Perry Dbeson and Dido Miles, "and their 'adopted' children, Birdie & Elbie, work at the airport. The family live off whatever they scavenge from cargo holds, offices and hotels - including a steady stream of transient workers who populate the airport's soulless hub. When Lena, a young Polish office cleaner, is befriended by Birdie, she gets drawn into a nightmarish world of torture, murder and perversity. Imprisoned in a suburban House
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