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DVD Review

DVD cover

Mum & Dad


Starring: Perry Benson, Dido Miles and Olga Fedori
Revolver Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 26 December 2008

A young polish immigrant woman called Lena works nights cleaning offices at Heathrow Airport. She befriends Birdie, a female co-worker who offers to put her up for the night after Lena misses her last bus home. The moment the front door closes behind her she is knocked unconscious and from then on is held captive by a sadistic and murderous older couple - ‘mum and dad.’ After being tortured and witnessing depraved acts of violence and abuse, Lena soon learns that the only way she is going to survive is to become a member of this macabre family, and to displace Birdie as their ‘adoptive daughter’...

Mum & Dad is said to be loosely based on the exploits of serial killer Fred and Rosemary West, but is probably closer in style to Otis, which in itself was almost certainly inspired by the original German version of Funny Games.

First time writer/director Steven Sheil wanted to make a British version of the ultimate dysfunctional family as portrayed in films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes; although this doesn’t reflect on those films, instead carrying a frightening scenario of mundane English suburbia. It’s the idea that behind the closed doors of any normal-looking family house can be situated a nightmare mausoleum. This comes across very effectively - particularly the bizarre Christmas scene.

Sheil might be a director worth keeping an eye on for the future. Although I don’t normally consider this type of film to be entertainment, he should be congratulated for what he has achieved on a budget of only £100,000. This is the first film anywhere to be released simultaneously at the cinema and on rental and retail DVD.

A good selection of extras include a Director & Producer Commentary, a 3-minute Short Film, Behind the Scenes Footage, a Q & A session from Frightfest 2008, and Cast and Crew Interviews.


Ty Power

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