Sometimes, when I wake up and realise I don’t have kids, I laugh hysterically in delight. I’m assured in the knowledge that I won’t be changing any nappies, sending anyone to school or fending off a pubescent fit of rage brought about because I asked the little bugger if they wanted toast for breakfast.
No, I’m never having kids. And that was made fully clear in my mind after watching Mom and Dad – Brian Taylor’s deliciously bizarre horror-comedy in which suburban parents suddenly go mental and try to murder their offspring.
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The horror plays more from the perspective of two children trying to survive a frenzied attack from their parents (Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair), but I found myself firmly on the side of the grownups, cheering in support as they attempted to reclaim their freedom with a meat mallet.
Their lives are no longer their own. “We used to be Brett and Kendall,” claims Cage in a monologue for the ages. “Now we’re just Mom and Dad.” The hopes and dreams they once had have been destroyed by the arrival of their children – a sports car becomes a family shitmobile and a salary of $145k a month becomes $45k. In a desperate attempt to recapture his youth and sense of individuality, Brett starts to build a man cave, but even that pleasure is deprived from him, as he’s reminded he has a family to support instead of pissing their money away on a pool table.
If I no longer had the freedom to eat a quick, dirty burger without having to provide a meal for the rest of the family, I’d probably become a murderous lunatic, too. And I simply couldn’t handle having children’s toys all over the floor, which would presumably make it harder for me to find my own. That would certainly give me carte blanche to chase them around the landing with an electric saw.
And the last thing I need, as my hairline begins to make its journey to the back of my head, is to be reminded of my mortality by someone 20-odd years younger than me, with their fidget spinners and their emojis and their misplaced sense of optimism. It wouldn’t be long before I start to relate with Brett and Kendall, who recall a simpler time when not everyone had a mobile phone and pornography only came in magazines.
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I wouldn’t have time for a sulking teenager, either. Kendall finds herself in an ongoing struggle with her brat of a daughter, who steals money from her purse and frustratingly exclaims “whatever!” in response to almost everything. I wasn’t surprised when she finally cracked and started going at her little angel with a clothes hanger.
If I had to put up with that every day, I’d eventually end up resenting my kids’ existence, and then I’d go properly Nicolas Cage mental and start screaming “motherfuckers!” while the wife tries to stab them with a kitchen knife through a locked door.
So, for both parties concerned, it’ll probably save a lot of hassle if I simply don’t reproduce.
Mom and Dad is in UK cinemas today