SXSW Movie Review: My Father, Die

Published on April 1st, 2016 in: Film Festivals, Horror, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews |

By Brad Henderson

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Backwoods movies, or “Hicksploitation” films, are some of the meanest and dirtiest to exist in the cinema world. Titles like Poor Pretty Eddie, Gator Bait, and Psycho From Texas are cruel and just fucked up in general, making you want to take a bath right after you watch them. These films are way more shocking than extreme torture or gore baths.

My Father, Die is one of these types of films. It’s not often we get a modern Hicksploitation flick that looks beautiful but is so filthy at the same time. Usually these films are gritty and raw-looking which involves you more in the atmosphere surrounding the movie.

My Father, Die is a story of revenge. Two brothers who are very close live out in the middle of nowhere, the type of place that the cops don’t even visit because it almost looks non-existent to the normal population. It’s one of those places that if something bad happens, you’re on your own and anything goes. One day the two brothers are messing around. The older one plans to have sex with his girlfriend and as any good brother would, he lets his little brother Asher watch. During the sexcapades the father comes across them and beats Asher until he goes deaf and then kills his older son. Now, years later Asher has grown up and, still living in the middle of nowhere, finds out his father is getting released from prison. Asher still wants vengeance for his brother’s death and sets out to bring the ultimate justice upon his father by killing him.

Simple enough of a story but it’s told in the grimmest possible way. My Father, Die is mean and relentless from start to finish and doesn’t let up until those credits roll. Hicksploitation hasn’t had a film like this in years so it’s refreshing to see another entry into this fucked-up genre. The best thing about My Father, Die is how great it looks. It’s shot well: the colors flow and the movement of the camera gets up close and personal and makes you feel like you’re in the trapped in the corner of the room.

My Father, Die is the first feature for this director, Sean Brosnan, the son of actor Pierce Brosnan, who also served as a producer on the film. It’s refreshing to see that his first foray into film is something so raw and gritty. Instead of making a “Hollywood” picture, he takes us back to a genre that isn’t that mainstream and shoves our faces in it until we can’t breathe anymore. Hopefully this will kickstart the Hicksploitation genre back into consciousness because there just aren’t enough films like this anymore.

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