Blood Father casts a weathered Mel Gibson as a former alcoholic tattoo artist ex-con divorcee named John Link, who’s spent the last few years mostly off the grid in a trailer park in California’s Coachella Valley (shot in New Mexico). He has been anxiously searching for his 17-year-old daughter, Lydia, who ran away at 14. She re-enters his life soon enough, desperately looking for money to make her getaway when she ends up shooting her ne’er-do-well boyfriend, Jonah, during an armed heist, causing others in his criminal organization tied to the drug cartels from Mexico to come after her. Fatherly instincts, and a resurgence of dormant survival skills picked up from his days as a not-so-nice-guy, kick in when the bad guys come around.
Most of the action takes place, as with Ex Machina, at a large house in a scenic remote location that doubles as an experimental laboratory where scientists are observing the maturation of a synthetic young woman named Morgan, who is five years old in actuality but with the accelerated aging that gives her the appearance of a young woman. The staff there all have fond feelings for Morgan, though that trust is shattered one day when Morgan appears to lash out violently unexpectedly, resulting in severe injuries to one of their own. The corporation behind the experiment sends a risk-management agent to assess the risks of continuing, Lee Weathers, who finds that, despite their fear of a repeat occurrence that has Morgan more or less imprisoned, they rationalize that this outburst is an anomaly, and part of the acceptable risk for the project.
Toni is a tough but socially disconnected eleven-year-old girl from the projects in Cincinnati, who is a regular participant and a helpful assistant in the nearby community center, where her older brother, Jermaine, a boxer, also trains. Toni tries out to be a member of the Lionesses, the highly successful all-girl competitive dance-battle squad. The girls all regularly work out their highly complicated dance routines, but one of the girls falls during the routine in what appears to be an epileptic fit (hence the title). Some time later, another, then another. Are they overworked? Is it there a problem with water contamination at the community center? Is it something worse?