Any child of divorcing parents will understandably find the upheaval at best turbulent, at worst distressing. It doesn’t help either if you’re stepmother wears a hollow eyed blank faced plastic cosmetic face mask with the dramatic range of Amanda Holden which is exactly what Coral (Camilla Rutherford,) the pregnant stepmother to Donna (Page Ruth) and Michael (Keaton Tetlow), wears around the house. Donna, the teenage daughters coping mechanism is partying and getting drunk whereas her little brother Michael is not old enough to go out on his own and is stuck in the house with Coral whilst his father Richard goes off on his frequent business trips.
It’s Michael who has the worst with supernatural spookiness occurring around the house many of which are brilliantly carried out by director Ben Charles Edwards. But added to the spooky goings on is Michael’s mentally unstable mother turning up unannounced at the house trying to get him back and an old woman neighbour with a fright wig that has her looking like Cruella de Ville’s demented mother. ‘Every family has its demons’ says one character – certainly true if you have ever met our Editor’s kids Damien and Adolf (‘You’re Fired!- Ed) but it is Michael who is tormented by an increasingly unnerving moments in his bedroom. Director Ben Charles Edwards orchestrates the scares extremely well and though several rely on sonic scares, the others are eerily creepy and extremely effective and work best – a scene with Donna taking selfies on her phone is particularly good.
Where Father of Flies does suffer is its narrative which is disjointed and lacks coherence but the scares are very well constructed in a similar style to those which James Wan put together for his Conjuring & Insidious films and in that respect Father of Flies is an excellent application to helm the next film in those franchises.
Here’s the Father of Flies trailer……