Friday, May 18, 2012

Mother's Day (2010)

Fear 2/5
Gore 4/5
Entertainment 3/5
Creepiness 2/5

This particular remake seemed to avoid the ire of fans when the making of it was first announced. The original Troma production was both bizarre and downright nasty but not as highly regarded as most films in terms of 'Oh my god, that's a classic! How will they ever top it? What a travesty.' Helmed by Saw series vet Darren Lynn Bousman, genre fans seemed to be genuinely interested in the effort. Coupled with the fact that the mother was to be played by one of my favorite onscreen creepies, Rebecca 'The Hand That Rocks The Cradle' De Mornay, this felt like a remake that was primed to be better than it's predecessor. Well is it? Read on.

A trio of misfit brothers find themselves in a bit of a pickle. They just held up a bank and one of them got mortally injured in the process. Driving around and frantically trying to contact dear ol' mom (De Mornay) on their cellphone (whom they haven't seen in quite some time), they eventually give up and decide to head to their boyhood home with the hope that she's there to help them. The only problem? The house was foreclosed on not too long ago and the new occupants of the house are having a house warming party of sorts. Whoops.

Arriving at their former place of residence, the two non-injured boys encounter the unexpected group and quickly take control of the house. One of the friends is revealed to be a doctor and instantly he's threatened with the notion that if he doesn't save their injured brother, he will quickly be on the receiving end of a high caliber pistol.

The rest of the group party away in complete obliviousness. That is, of course, until they come into contact with one of the brothers who is wildly psychotic and would love nothing more than to kill off the whole lot. But his emotions are kept in check when dear ol' mom is finally reached and she arrives on the scene. Mom comes in and at first, she's a calming presence. She reassures the group that all they want to do is get out and get on with their lives. The only problem? Well there's more than one besides the son being injured. It's also revealed that the boys were sending huge wads of cash back home to mom and either the husband or wife were hiding the money somewhere in the house.

The vast majority of the rest of the film is a bit of a cat and mouse game as certain captives try to escape and get help and one of the boys takes the woman of the house out to get money out of the ATM. They need the money to pay some guy to get them across the border. Oh, and there is a subplot that involves mother being a baby snatcher and a notion that all of her kids may or may not be born of her womb.

The problem with the film is that it becomes very long and drawn out as not only the past of the mother is revealed but also why the money was being hidden from them. In addition, the only character that has more than one dimension is DeMornay's. But even that fact begins to grate as her performance fluctuates considerably. At first a calming presence, subdued, but with a bit of a sinister undertone, it then gives way to being really over the top and just downright silly.

Still, I've seen a lot worse. There are some great gore moments in the film and even though it could have benefited from some serious editing, it still kept my attention throughout. In terms of being better than the original, well, it's just different. Not quite as creepy but just as nasty. It's definitely worth a watch.

Cortez the Killer


The Man-Cave said...

It will never touch the original in terms of campiness, but this one was surprisingly enjoyable on its own. This could been have named something else without needing to reel in Mother's Day fans since it is like night and day compared to the 1980 offering. I have to admit digging the references throughout the film though.

Real Queen of Horror said...

I surprisingly liked his movie, which was very surprising! I still like the the original better of course! :P

Emily said...

I just watched it last night and I definitely liked it a lot more than you did! Yes, it was almost 2 hours, but I never felt it drag. There WERE a lot more characters than needed, but that actually worked for me. There was enough to bump up the body count, but at the same time, I thought the film did a decent job of making every one of them resonate one way or another. Overall, a quite pleasant surprise.

Planet of Terror said...

@The Man-Cave, I agree, it could have been a stand alone film w/o the Mother's Day name and it would have been a draw due to both Bousman and DeMornay's involvement.

@Real Queen, it definitely was surprising. But just OK. Nothing ground breaking.

@Emily, for me, the characters didn't really resonate much at all. The exception being the doctor who had a lot to lose and but still reached out to the daughter to break her and get her to do the right thing. He was the only one that was interesting to me. I take that back, Jaimie King was decent enough too.

Mike @ said...

I really enjoyed this movie. I agree that the doctor was the best character (he also did a great job in Frozen), but the other characters I thought were at the very least believable (if not likeable). The one subplot that was kind of a waste of time was the one between the doctor and the brothers' little sister. Despite her growing connection to him it doesn't go anywhere.

Definitely worth a watch for anyone who liked the original - and even for those who didn't see the original and are just looking for a very good home invasion style horror flick.

Planet of Terror said...

@Mike, I agree. That subplot really added nothing as you'd think that after all of that, that the sister would have had a change of heart. As is, it went nowhere and was completely pointless.