‘Welcome to the family’
Daughter is a 2022 American mystery thriller film about a young woman who is inducted into a bizarre family as their new surrogate daughter. As she navigates through this twisted dynamic, awful secrets about the past are revealed, leading to even darker implications about the future.
Written, co-produced and directed by Corey Deshon. Also produced by Tracy Chitupatham, Nicholas Larrabure, Vivien Ngô, Jes Vu and Lacy Lew Nguyen Wright.
The Thirteenth Floor Pictures-OneWorld Entertainment co-production stars Casper Van Dien (The Flood; The Most Dangerous Game; Assailant; Dead Water; Alpha Wolf; Python; Sleepy Hollow; Starship Troopers), Elyse Dinh, Vivien Ngô, Ian Alexander, Megan Le and Edward Stasik.
“Dialogue is sparse and any verbose moments are confined to Father’s delusions of grandeur that his Faustian deal with Daughter is really anything more than a waiting game for when she gets a chance to break loose. There are tense scenes where the deafening silence of their isolated location is enough to create discomfort in the audience.” Britflicks
” …nice to see Van Dien doing something worthwhile after spending most of his post-Starship Troopers career in three-for-a-pound B-movies. If his name makes you expect more of the same when you come to this, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Rather than the exploitative horror you might expect from the setup. Deshon has crafted a complex moral fable which, in an era of constant conflict around art and what if means to be free, could not be more timely.” 4 out of 5, Eye for Film
“Daughter is a mesmerising and beautifully dangerous cinematic experience. Incredibly layered and intricately planned, Daughter demonstrates an almost genius level of technical skill and visual flourishes. Assisted by nuanced performances across the board, Daughter possesses an unquantifiable abundance of talent across the board. A well-worn idea filtered and distilled through a new perspective Daughter is an exceptional debut. ” 4 out of 5, The Hollywood News
” …while there was one question I wanted answering more clearly, what matters isn’t necessarily what it all means to viewers but what the characters think it means. This idea of objective truth vs. subjectivism is at the core of the movie, and the need to feel as if we have a leading, benevolent role in our narratives explains how the parents can live with what they do.” 5 out of 5, Horror Cult Films
“Writer-director Corey Deshon plays out a domestic drama of paternal oppression and small, stubborn resistance as if it were taking place in a surreal pocket universe that looks like a regular house […] Life outside doesn’t obtrude, though there are hints that it exists. Van Dien, in a career-best performance, is an understated monster…” The Kim Newman Web Site
“Although similar to other twisted family tales such as Dogtooth (2009), Deshon’s debut differs in that the Father’s reasons for locking up his family aren’t explored enough to fully immerse. As such whilst the tension is skin-crawlingly excellent throughout the conclusion fails to fully satisfy; despite this however Daughter does a good job of closing with a full circle moment that’s just as unsettling as that opening scene.” 3 out of 5, Moving Pictures Film Club
“In addition to the script and the cast, the cinematography is noteworthy. The film was shot in such a way that the picture itself was softer (like analog film), giving it a vintage look. Beyond aesthetics, this seemed like a deliberate choice to disorient the audience: we don’t know what year this film is supposed to take place in. There are some clues, but they’re few and far between.” Nightmarish Conjurings
“The result is a bleak snapshot of the social and cultural structures that keep everyone in their (wrongful) place, while punishing any sign of resistance to what is deemed ‘safe’ but in fact endangers all but exploitative, abusive daddy.” 4 out of 5, SciFiNow
Corey Deshon: “From the wars we fight over our conflicting worldviews, the insane mental gymnastics we conjure in order to justify them, and the insignificance of truth in the absence of freedom, comes Daughter. Shot on 16mm film with a predominantly Vietnamese cast, Daughter is a uniquely diverse and genre-bending tale in the vein of Dogtooth meets 10 Cloverfield Lane.
Inspired by feminist existentialist philosopher Simone De Beauvoir’s “The Ethics of Ambiguity,” this film is a meditation on the morality and ethics of freedom and creative expression within an oppressed system. Through this surrealist psychodrama, we seek to explore the questions, “Can one truly be free if they do not will the freedom of others? “and, “If that freedom must come at a moral cost, who is going to pay?”
In the US, Dark Star Pictures will release Daughter theatrically and On Demand (VOD) on February 10, 2023.
1 hour 35 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.66: 1