It’s been read before in fiction that the family that stays together also kills together. But does this mean that they also have intercourse together? In Daddy’s Girl, it does by representing the Electra complex and Stockholm syndrome in recognizable levels of gruesome imagery that some gore-seekers might appreciate but won’t feel fulfilled.
Zoe’s (Jemma Dallender) life changes when her mother commits suicide and is left under the care of her stepfather, John (Costas Mandylor). For all we know, they have an incestuous relationship and together—pretending to be a couple looking for a third wheel at bars—they’re hunting young girls for the pleasure of John’s secret sadistic fetish. Once a target is set, the woman is taken to their torture chamber or “hell” as John likes to call it. But something happens to Zoe as every time there is a new girl she commits to help the girls in an unusual way by trying to help them escape—this world. She gives them one solution with two options, and it is not easier than picking paper or plastic to pack your groceries. Could it be that Zoe has a kind heart and doesn’t want to see other girls suffer or does she find suggesting suicide satisfying to replicate her father’s steps?
Daddy’s Girl is a film packed with interesting characters, a suggestive plot and maybe not the rivers of blood one would expect but it’s enough to appreciate the work. It is implicit that the film’s main theme is violence and hatred towards women under the influence of religion and outdated concepts of a woman’s role in society, and that is why most of the scenes where it is represented have been cut to minimize it—only wounds are shown after the stepfather takes charge of the torture. It is probably an illustrious detail on the director’s part but it seems confusing as the scenes where Zoe influences the kidnapped girls to commit darker acts are shown without remorse and, like a coin, its definition does not change by only showing one side of it, even if it’s not glamourized.
The cast is extraordinary so at times it seems that the characters are not big enough to define their roles. The characters do have a decent but basic background — it’s as there was only time to focus on a few details to keep the story afloat. The problem is that not all the characters seem to know what they want or what they are looking for and that disorientation is evident in some of the actors— there is no clear definition of their past.
Putting the controversial issue aside, the movie is not bad. It is not a clinical representation of the problem but it is a social satire with a soft response. And as it begins, so it ends. Daddy’s Girl is a movie with a rich plot but poor development. It’s a muddle of what an exceptional thriller could be if more time had been invested in fine-tuning the story’s details.
7 OUT OF 10 BEAR TRAPS