Daughter – Movie Review

TL;DR – An unrelenting exploration of the subversion of the family unit.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Disclosure – I was sent a screener of this film

Warning – contains scenes that may cause distress.

A ritual.

Daughter Review

Some films pique your interest because of the genre or the narrative framework. Some still come from a casting choice that you must see how it plays out. This week we are looking at a film that hits all of these as we delve into a dark world.

So to set the scene, we open on a dirt road as a lady runs for her life as a pickup truck driven by two people in gas masks chases her down. Later a woman (Vivien Ngô) wakes up shackled to the floor with Father (Casper Van Dien) looming over her. She is to be called Sister and will soon be introduced to Mother (Elyse Dinh) and Brother (Ian Alexander). She will not be hurt … as long as she behaves because Brother is exceptional, and she needs to help him avoid the sickness out in the world.

The family sits down for a dinner.
The setting does bring you into this film. Image Credit: Lightbulb Film Distribution.

More than anything, Daughter understands the ability to nail a vibe. The tone, costumes, setting, and performances all fall into this uncomfortable place where you are not entirely sure what the trust is. Is there a sickness out there? Is the air bad? Or is this guy just a controlling creep, or worse? There is a deliberateness to everything that happens and how parts of the narrative make you pause. This is amplified by the use or approximation of old film stock, adding to the odd claustrophobic feeling and giving it almost an exploitation film tone.

The cast is also a key highlight in the film. Casper Van Dien is terrifying as the domineering Father that could switch on a dime with his booming voice and quasi-religious reframing of the world. Elyse Dinh captures the role of a survivor as Mother. She sits in both camps and tries to navigate her way to safety. Vivien Ngô is the abductee trying to stay alive while finding the wedge she can use to escape, walking as close to the line as possible but not getting across. Finally, Ian Alexander is the perfect embodiment of innocence, missing their clean hands.

Confronting a prisoner.
Unfortunately, the tone is unrelenting. Image Credit: Lightbulb Film Distribution.

However, while I thought the film did a good job setting up this world and presenting its dilemma. Unfortunately, the tone of this film was unrelenting. There was nowhere to take a breath, as you felt the world could explode at any moment. That consistent tone because exhausting after a while which didn’t help anything. As well as this, There were elements of the ending that did not land for me on a narrative level.

In the end, do we recommend Daughter? Well, look, given the themes and subject material that the film explores, this will not be a film for everyone. Indeed, I think this would be a difficult watch for many people. I liked the acting and the setup, but I left feeling exhausted more than anything. If you liked Daughter, we would recommend to you 10 Cloverfield Lane.

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Daughter?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us
Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day. 

Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Daughter
Directed by
– Corey Deshon
Written by – Corey Deshon
Music by – David Strother
Cinematography by – Hana Kitasei
Edited by – Nicholas Larrabure
Production/Distribution Companies – Thirteenth Floor Pictures, OneWorld Entertainment & Lightbulb Film Distribution
Starring – Casper Van Dien, Elyse Dinh, Vivien Ngô, Ian Alexander, Megan Le & Ed Stasik
Rating – United Kingdom: 15;


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