Father of Flies Movie Review: This slow-burn Indie Horror packs a lackadaisical punch

This slow-burn Indie Horror packs a lackadaisical punch

In spite of its edgy plot and eerie tone, ‘Father of Flies’ does not capitalize on its potential. In its fleeting moments of truth, the film does not shine bright as it would have for better execution.

The indie horror is about a dysfunctional family who is still recovering from the suicide of their mother. The dad has a new girlfriend but cannot win over the children. She refuses to be a mother to them, spending most of her time watching television with her cosmetic mask on. But Michael, the youngest, establishes a connection with his mother, and the signs of something menacing start showing.

‘Father of Flies’ tries to create a unique experience with its limitations, putting most things in their place, but takes the excuse of fictional convenience to get out of testing situations. Some moments of brilliance and of pure fright manifest every now and then – like when Richard has a dream about something in Michael’s room.

The problem is that they are all sandwiched in-between moments of uninspired, generic horror setups incapable of distinguishing itself from everything that has been done before. Director Ben Edwards does not seem to be in control of the direction his narration takes. The lack of story, in fact, hurts his ambitions deeply.

Not many genre films have dared to go plot-less. There is always a correlation between the events in the present to the haunting secrets of the past. They emerge, nonetheless, in a confusing motley of sequences that are even more disconnected than the family members.

The use of the house’s surroundings is optimized. The scanty winter trees and the bleak snow add to the dreading sense of something bad about to happen. Most of its characters fit into the oddball scheme of its narration. ‘Father of Flies’ takes a long time to get to its core mystery, leaving extravagant spells of time where the viewer is just alone with its atmospheric cinematic universe.

The time spent together in the anticipation of what’s to come is somewhat rewarding. The minimalist setting offers director Ben Edwards an opportunity to create tension in a packed environment. He is initially willing, chopping back and forth relentlessly to superimpose the moving parts of the story. But the lack of cut-throat editing – possibly to create the unsettling uncertainty – dampens the mood a bit. With restricted settings comes the feeling of suffocation and claustrophobia, which is glaringly missing in the final product.

There is no denying that ‘Father of Flies’ performs to the expectations of a film of its level. Edwards must be lauded for his brave effort. But his intentions aside, the actual experience is faintly disappointing. The many moving parts of his storytelling are too disjointed to make sense and make for a compelling watch. Their scattered presence is not strong enough to pull your attention. Although, for a horror purist, it might have some decent material. Some more information and background could have done wonders for Edwards and ‘Father of Flies’.

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  • Verdict - 5/10

7 thoughts on “Father of Flies Movie Review: This slow-burn Indie Horror packs a lackadaisical punch”

  1. I had a writing teacher who emphasized the challenge with endings of stories, the skill of pulling it all together. A great script with a weak ending.

  2. It seems that there is little linear time here, jumping back and forth between past and future and ,at one point, dimensions. I can’t figure it out.

  3. Perhaps I’m trying to give this story a plot line because, it just hurts not to have seen one in this film.
    Michael is alive at the beginning of the film, as is his crazy mother, but both of them died of asphyxiation mid-way through the film.
    The stepmother is vain and shallow. Her mask is symbolic of her deeply narcissistic nature. She is the cuckoo. She killed the daughter because she was simply fed up with dealing with her. Cleaned the nest for good.
    The old woman is Michael’s ally. She gives him the mantra that carries him through. She realizes Michael’s spirit is still in the house. In his most confusing hour, her mantra gives Michael the strength to choose to save his mother from being dragged to hell. I would like to believe they are both in heaven together.
    The fact the father is utterly alone at the end is the inevitable result of a person dedicated to his own personal success, to the exclusion of the people around him.
    That’s how I’m rationalizing this story and I’m sticking to it. Gonna go queue up Eyes Without a Face now.

  4. I am trying hard to follow. This movie. I understood there was a deep disfunction family meaning in this movie. Some good Sean’s. Problem being seems to me shots were out of order.like when the momis begging to see her kids he tells her he is there for the kids not her, then it hoes to someone in a car dying.thrn him talking to an sld lady with a dead husband. If the mother committed suicide WHEN?? IT SHOWS A HANGING CLOWN. Michelson mom trying to get him to follow the light which is a static filled TV
    Is he dead or dying and the weird lady with the mask accidentally kills Donna while the man is driving home with memories. Which nothing tells us or shows t h e mom killing herself?at the beginning was she in a mental hospital was michael alive then? Wher were they going to visit her the hospital or grave yard? But the she shows at door begging to see kids. A red hering thrown in making it seem the girlfriend with the strange mask is evil or something.
    Help.lol this movie has good scans but all thought z n d ideas r out of order. The explanation of preview say wife is pushed out of housebecause of girlfriend. The after explanation says wife kills herself then girlfriend moves in.an reptile stories line was trying to be achieved but to change it for except usual ot is completely mixed up.the ed flirt and somebsceans deserve a bitbof good compliments but it needed to be understandable

  5. This movie sucked and is a total waste of anyone’s time. I had no idea of what’s going on or why. It’s best to waste your time on something else like watching grass grow or paint dry.

  6. I had to rewind because the end made no sense. This movies was so dark and confusing I’m still asking myself “what just happened”??? When was the boy in the car with the mom. We’re they in another dimension? Was she trying to send him back from the afterlife? I’m so confused!!!!! But I really wasn’t following.

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