Monday 5 December 2011

Today's Review: Mother's Day

This movie came out a little while back, but I know I've been neglecting my horrors a lot, evidenced by the fact that if someone asks for a horror recommendation at work I stutter a bit and then mention The Human Centipede II. Or maybe it's because I'm so desensitised that only truly grotesque and disturbing films are the ones I find noteworthy.

I'd heard good things about Mother's Day though, so I gave it a shot. The story opens with three criminal brothers, Ike, Addley and Johnny, who have suffered a bungled bank robbery with Johnny being shot, and take refuge in their mother's house. Trouble is, their mother has been forced to move out, and the new owners are having a party. Not being the most compassionate and apologetic brothers, they don't pack up their things, wipe the bloodstains and leave, they take everyone in the house hostage and call their mother to come to the house and help them. Everything seems to be okay when a sweet, well dressed mother turns up and apologises to the hostages, stating she just wants to get out of their hair. But as they learn that they need to gather money in order to skip out of the country, things turn nasty as Mother reveals her true nature, and we begin to realise how her children grew up to be such monsters.

Mother's Day is pretty heavy stuff. It's certainly not in the overly disturbing realm, but there are quite a few gory scenes, and the tension never lets up. As Johnny's health deteriorates the demands of the family become more and more disturbing, and the methods they employ to get things to go their way become increasingly violent. The hostages swing quickly from wannabe heroes to quivering wrecks, and the family often find themselves struggling to keep their victims at bay. Threats turn into violence, and then into twisted games. Secrets are uncovered for everyone involved, and the twists and turns really kept me on my toes throughout the entire movie.

Rebecca De Mornay steals the show as mother. She can change from a lovely, sweet person to psycho in a matter of seconds, and remains the predominant threatening presence as events unfold. The rest of the actors do quite well, especially the brothers and the main hostage couple, but the rest of the cast don't really have too much of a spark. While there are many twists and turns throughout the movie, they do start to become too frequent, and it does drag on a bit. I was very gripped as a whole though.

Mother's Day is not your conventional slasher horror. The bad guys are threatening and devious instead of just running around with big knives, and they often work to expose the flaws of the hostages to their own gain. If you like your horrors suspenseful and gory, this one's for you.

My rating: 4/5

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