Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Daddy's Little Girl (2012)
Horror with Heart
I'll admit straight off the bat that I count myself as an acquaintance of director Chris Sun, having followed him on Facebook and talked to him a few times since even before he made his first film. However, as anyone who has spoken to him knows, he can handle constructive criticism and doesn't want anyone kissing his a--! So I'm going to keep it real.
Firstly, this movie is NOT for the squeamish! It is bloody, violent and gruesome and will have a lot of people comparing it to films like "I Spit on Your Grave", "Hostel" and "Last House on the Left" but this movie differs in two major ways: The first being that it spares us the horror of watching the innocent victim suffer. While most revenge-torture style films will use any excuse to heap on the violence, Daddy's Little Girl takes the classier road by merely implying what had been done which, rather than distracting the viewer with the gruesomeness of the crime, instead hits us with the emotional impact of a family's loss and builds our sympathy for the grieving father. Which brings me to the second way it differs, in that it never forgets its point or becomes a mindless torture-porn. There is a very relatable motive behind everything that Derek is doing and while Michael Thompson's acting may not earn him an Oscar, he still has more than enough emotion in his performance to portray a man in deep pain while the ghostly (possibly imagined) visits from his deceased daughter remind us why he is doing this. The emotional side of this film is genuinely enough to bring a tear to the eye.
Something else which seems to get lost in translation, by the people who are instantly put-off by the blood, is the message of this film which asks the question of whether the penalties for crimes against children are harsh enough.
There were also a few negatives: I found my attention wandering a bit for the first hour or so, as some of the scenes seemed to drag on a little longer than I would have liked and maybe there were a few scenes which we didn't need. Much of the acting was also far from fantastic, but keep in mind that most of the extras in particular were inexperienced volunteers while even the lead actors have only been in one or two previous roles! Also keep in mind that this is only Chris' second film and he has already shown a HUGE amount of improvement from his first.
In my opinion, the stand-out performance would have to go to Allira Jaques as Stacey, also in only her second feature role, for managing to effectively showcase three very different sides to a character who probably didn't get as much screen time as she deserved. The special effects were fantastic and, while very gruesome, always kept the "gore" believable which helped to increase the impact of the torture scenes, rather than just having the viewer laughing at 'how fake that looked.'
In summary, remembering that this only the director's second movie and it was filmed on a very small budget in limited time with mostly inexperienced and first-time actors, this was actually one hell of an accomplishment! You can compare it to as many bigger-budgeted films with household name actors as you like, but I challenge you to find another with as little experience and money behind it as this one had, which accomplishes the same level of quality and packs as much of an emotional punch, especially within the genre! In the future, Daddy's Little Girl will be looked back on as an Australian classic and Chris Sun has proved that he is a director to watch as he is only going to continue to improve and make better and better films.