Elijah Wood in Come to Daddy.

A troubled artist (Elijah Wood) answers a letter from his long-last dad (Stephen McHattie) and goes to visit him at his oceanfront property. What starts out as a sweet get-together in the film Come to Daddy quickly devolves into a hellish experience during which Dad proves himself to be an even lousier father than first thought: Rather than being a supportive pop, he drinks a lot and declares his long-lost son to be full of shit. He’s also got a few things going on in the basement.

Director Ant Timpson throws in twists aplenty, and Wood delivers good work—but the film ultimately doesn’t come together. It flirts with dark comedy early on, and seems to be on its way to being a terrific nasty laugher, but the film loses its way when it goes the cheap-thriller route. The second half is depressing rather than outlandish, and the writing doesn’t back up that leap.

It’s too bad. I legitimately laughed a few times during the first half, and I had high hopes thanks to the setup. But in the end, Come to Daddy is a tonal mess—and a blown opportunity for what could have been a memorable genre effort.

Come to Daddy is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.