Beth and Daniel are having friends over for a night of celebration in their new home, but their party turns tragically wrong when a trio of bungling robbers turn up in the house looking for their recently evicted mother and sister. While the three brothers are a threat, it’s not until they call their mother that the terror really begins.
Darren Lynn Bousman the director of three of the Saw movies and Repo: The Genetic Opera, takes what he has learned and turns it up a notch in this disturbing but highly addictive thriller. Not only is a story told, but also its scale is so vast and so at odds with itself (in a good way) that the movie feels like two films have been merged together. Mother’s Day is a magnificent knuckle-clenching ride, which takes you through a royal flush of emotions, and is one of those movies that you think about long after the end credits have rolled.
Starting in a very so-so way Mother’s Day soon starts working its magic on you, if you are prepared to let it that is. I cant lie, about thirty minutes in and I was thinking been here, seen this (not personally of course), done this; and at this point I must point out that in the overall scheme of things there is nothing really that new in this movie. But push past that and you’ll see it’s not the story, but the way it’s told that make the movie such a thrill ride. Starting as a typical siege movie, you have a group of thirty-something’s trapped in a basement under a form of imperial guard, some are nice, some are annoying, some have secrets, some you hate from the minute you see them. The story is then given some Saw style bloodletting, and a villain so intelligent, and evil, while still having some idea of what is right and what is wrong; that you cannot help but love them, in a sort of twisted way of course.
Mother’s Day sees the return of Rebecca De Mournay, one of Hollywood’s most beautiful and versatile actresses, while you could argue she’s not really been away, the one thing that is true is that she has not been allowed to really perform and have impact in a movie in quite the same way she does here. Starring as the “mother” of the movie, De Mournay, slips onto the screen marking the arrival of one of the movie industries greatest villains for some time. The character of Mother arrives with smiles and pleasantries, along with a nice chocolate cake; but soon is laying out her judgements, and vision of what is right and wrong, regardless of whether anyone gets hurt, or killed in the process. One minute she’s ordering executions, the next showing she has a good side, its that double sided coin that is at the heart of the movie, and as you watch and enjoy her bloody mindedness, you also realise that she is making you incredibly angry.
A few years ago I stumbled upon what without a doubt had to be one of my favourite movies of all time, that movie was Eden Lake. For me the winning formula that you can feel the whole way through the movie, as that whatever happens along the way you know its not going to end well. And here with Mother’s Day you have that same vibe, and as one of the movies pivotal characters reaches a rather violent end, you realise that something very bad is going to happen. And while I wont reveal whether the movie ends either down or upbeat, I will tell you that the feeling of impending doom and darkness runs right to the very end of the movie.
Mother’s Day is not without flaw, some of the characters seem to recover rather too quickly from various injuries. There are those lengthy action scenes, which defy logic, and push your imaginations or at least attempt to, a little too far. But even with this in mind, you are prepared, or at least I was to let these things slide.
With a strong cast that includes Jaime King, Shawn Ashmore, Patrick John Fluger, and Alexa Vega; Mother’s Day is dividing the critics with its performances, direction, and story. And the result is that the movie has been limited to the sort of releases it is experiencing across the globe, but when you think that movies like Insidious with all its flaws, and Paranormal Activity 2 are get great viewing figures, its sad that something a little different, a little cutting edge will never receive such viewings, which is the truest tragedy for Mothers’s Day. If you have caught the reviews, and are seriously considering giving it a miss, allow yourself to see it and judge for yourself, and not on the words of others.