Mother’s Day – Review
Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II,III, and IV) directs this chilling powerhouse loosely based on the terribly forgettable 1980 Troma film of the same name. I had honestly never even heard of a remake until someone had recommended I see it. Not being a huge fan of the Saw movies, or the original, I dismissed the recommendation until now. Mother’s Day is a tense, violent horror drama about a family of criminals that terrorize the occupants of a home and their guests.
The film opens in the aftermath of a botched heist, not unlike Reservoir Dogs, where one of the criminals is shot and bleeding in the back seat. The trio arrive at their family home to find that it had been lost in a foreclosure while they were away, and their mother had not been able to inform them. The new residents and their friends must endure a terrifying night of torture and violence as mother Koffin searches the house for money that had been apparently sent to her address during her sons’ time away.
Mother’s Day is awesomely directed, proving that Bousman is far better than the Saw franchise. He handles the multitude of characters with ease, keeping what could have been complicated layers, very easy to follow. Although there is plenty of blood and gore, Bousman keeps it at a realistic level, handling extremely violent scenes with maturity, never making the film feel overly exploitive (see SAW movies). It’s not about randomness or gratuitous killings. Every death has a reason, and in a twisted way makes sense in the scope of the film. Makeup FX are realistic, which may cause flinching for weaker stomachs, but again, the director doesn’t bask in the gore.
Performances are top notch for a genre film, surprisingly good. Rebecca DeMornay makes a wonderful return that is sure to get her noticed again. Not since The Hand That Rocks the Cradle have we seen her in a role like this. As Mother, she plays a character that walks the edge of a blade, calm, cool and collected, but willing to unflinchingly do whatever it takes to get the job done. As family members die, her character crumbles and her performance is nothing short of awesome! The rest of the fairly large cast also do remarkable jobs with their roles. Characters are written smart, and feel grounded in the situation. Not once did I feel myself pondering the outright stupidity of character’s choices or reactions.
Mother’s Day is a rare treat, a film that dropped out of nowhere that exceeded my expectations. Oddly, it’s classified as a horror, but honestly, I have to say its more of a thriller. The only horrific parts of the film is the actual violence. The film may have you on the edge of your seat, but at no time was is it actually scary. A movie like The Strangers, to me, is more horrific. It involves masks, stalking, and killing for no apparent reason. It actually had me thinking twice about looking out onto the dark country roads at night. Mother’s Day doesn’t invoke feelings of fear like that, it’s just a damn good movie. If you’re looking for something fresh in this genre, this is definitely worth checking out!
Mother’s Day was released on Blu Ray/DVD early May.