A woman finds herself trapped in a world like no other in this haunting thriller from writer/director Corey Deshon.
A young woman finds herself kidnapped by a couple wearing hazmat suits and gas masks. When she awakens, he meets a mysterious man who is the head of a family. He has a son and a wife. He decides that in time, he will consider the woman his daughter. After some time, the “daughter” joins the family and is immediately likened by both the “mother” and the “son”, who is an aspiring artist.
The “father” gives religious lectures at night and seems to be more conventional. However, the “daughter” feels something doesn’t add up. She slowly begins to convince her “brother” to help her. Once she discovers the terrifying secret, she hatches a plan to not only expose the “father” for who he really is, but attempt to get the rest of the family out of the house for good.
From the opening moments to the finale, this is a great slow burn of a psychological horror film that delves into the psyche of the family dynamic. Corey Deshon balances out a happy dynamic with the sinister thanks to an amazing small cast led by the great Casper Van Dien as the “father” alongside a great Asian cast as his “family”.
Elyse Dihn is great as the “mother”, who is that of the nurturing kind type. Even when the children do things that the father might not approve of, she still shows her support. She is seen as the typical housewife and matriarch who stands by both her children and husband. Ian Alexander brings tons of joy in the film as the “son”. An impressive artist, he brings a smile to everyone’s faces and while for this genre, it may bring out the creeps, the “son” clearly has the best intentions for everyone in the family, even his new “sister”.
Vivien Ngo is great as the newest addition to the family, who is kidnapped by the family to fulfill the nuclear dynamic of the family. She doesn’t get why she was picked and why the kidnappers are wearing hazmat suits and gas masks. It is perhaps because the “father” seems to think they are in a post-apocalyptic world where the outside world is toxic and the home is a paradise where they have everything they need, including the love of the family. It is perhaps that warped vision that makes father a more conventional figure as opposed to the children when the third act starts with them doing a live performance that looks like an 80’s MTV new wave video that comes out of nowhere as a means to break from the normalcy that had plagued the home.
Daughter is very haunting and at times creepy thanks to the idea of the nuclear family dynamic in a warped post-apocalyptic world. Casper Van Dien once again shines as does the supporting cast of Elyse Dihn, Vivien Ngo, and Ian Alexander.
WFG RATING: A-
Dark Star Pictures presents a Thirteenth Floor Pictures/OneWorld Entertainment production. Director: Corey Deshon. Producers: Corey Deshon, Jes Vu, and Tracy Chitupatham. Writer: Corey Deshon. Cinematography: Hana Kitasai. Editing: Nicholas Larrabure.
Cast: Casper Van Dien, Elyse Dihn, Vivien Ngo, Ian Alexander, Megan Le.
The film will be released in select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on February 10, 2023.