On the face of it, MOM AND DAD is an oddball horror film about parents who suddenly and inexplicably turn into homicidal maniacs but only with respect to their own children.
However, I'm frankly astounded at the number of reviewers, professional and amateur alike, who seem, from my perspective, to completely fail to "get" what MOM AND DAD is all about. In order to explain myself I'll have to depart from my normal style of movie review.
Once upon a time, very long ago, cheap 'n' cheesy horror pictures of the drive-in theater variety had a certain unmistakable "style" to them. To really grasp this style would require viewing a collection of such movies to get a "feel" for them, but in lieu of that I'll give a list of common characteristics possessed by such films.
The basic presentation could only be called "lurid", outlandish and over-the-top. Lower quality film stock was usually employed to reduce production costs, making the movie look sort of blurry and mushy, bordering on the out-of-focus. The sound was usually of poor quality, oversaturated and dull and featuring a narrow frequency range. A lot of the music had the sense of being canned and stock, often jarringly orchestral, sometimes almost drowning out the dialogue and sound effects and feeling inappropriate to the scene, almost like the music you would hear in porno flicks of the time, just sort of stuck on. There's almost always a consistent overuse of the low angle up-shot, giving many scenes and characters a distorted and menacing look. Shots of people's faces would be far too close up, giving their features a distorted and unpleasant perspective. And so on.
MOM AND DAD is, in effect, sort of an "art-house film". It is made to be a homage to low-budget horror films from about four decades ago. It takes the setting of present-day and applies the horror filmmaking sensibilities of 40 years ago. And, may I say, in my opinion, it does so perfectly. And, also in my opinion, it should be judged accordingly.
The plot line is lurid, ridiculous and absurd. It is SUPPOSED to be lurid, ridiculous and absurd. The plot is merely the Christmas tree upon which the ornaments of style and artistry are hung. It could have been a double feature at the drive-in with ITS ALIVE or perhaps NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD or maybe the original THE BLOB.
Hopefully this explains to the reader why I gave MOM AND DAD a 1010. I judge movies not by their mass appeal but by how well they accomplish what they set out to make, and MOM AND DAD hit its target squarely and I'm guessing it took a great deal of skill and artistic creativity to do it. It is both fun and creepily anachronistic all at the same time.
Whether or not I would recommend that you watch it is more determined by who you are as a viewer than anything else. Like regular "art-house film" efforts, I would guess it's appeal is very narrow and well-defined. It's attempt to create a work of art is completely uncompromised by any desire to have broad appeal, and so it doesn't. If you're someone who lived through the source era and are down for a bit of nostalgia, if you're a film student or a buff, or if you enjoy exploring filmmaking styles, then you should definitely give this movie a watch. But if you're, say, a millennial who is thoroughly and permanently shackled to your me-only, now-only myopic mindset, you're not going to be able to grasp the point of making such a movie let alone enjoy it.
On a final note, one particular scene of MOM AND DAD, literally perfect in every way and one of the funniest things I've ever seen, was one in which Nicholas Cage has just been subjected to an explosion by his kids, who are simply trying to protect themselves from his inexplicable homicidal rage. Cage reappears after the explosion looking much the worse for wear and sporting several Froot Loops stuck to his face from the explosion. This tableau captured every element of the plot, the style, and the point of the film in a single image. Anything other than Froot Loops would not have been so perfect. If this is not the image for the poster, it definitely should have been.
Review by S_Soma from the Internet Movie Database.