Sunday, 19 June 2011

REVIEW: Mother's Day

Something's not right in the RV.

Mother's Day is a film that's both interesting and sort of terrible at the same time. It's a horror movie that does ostensibly try and introduce a greater level of character development to proceedings, yet its also one that descends into empty torture porn every now and again. Its an attempt by director Darren Lynn Bousman, responsible for three of the six Saw films, to make something more substantial, yet that stuff sort of hovers around the fringes whilst the central stuff is essentially a Saw movie without the intricacy. I liked it in parts and liked its intentions, but its very much a hack storyteller's attempt to tell a meaningful story. Sure its better then what he's done before, and the ingredients for a good horror film are all here, its just Bousman can't quite stick the landing.

I think what irked me the most was the film's mid-section, when it almost forgot itself for twenty minutes to engage on some pointless sadistic torture porn with minor characters instead of focusing on its primary protagonists and antagonists. I think this film is much more interesting if there's not a basement full of friends existing to die in horrible ways, and its just the psycho family and its matriarch against the suburban couple. Because I think this wanted to be a film about empty violence its a shame it so often resorted to it to keep things moving. Performance-wise its mostly horror movie acting. Jaime King is about as you'd expect Jaime King to be, Shawn Ashmore has has moments, as does Patrick John Flueger, Rebecca De Mournay's title character is as hammy as it could possibly be,but I guess she had her moments. Everyone else just gets lost in the melee, perhaps because Mother's day is just way too crowded for its own good.

Still there's some horrifying moments and some interesting conceits, and for a horror to be about anything other the collecting a cheap forty million at the box office, one has to be appreciative. And I liked the idea that the family of villains didn't turn on each other and seemed to have genuine affection for each other, but at the same time they were all such broad archetypes that it hindered the notion that they would have any kind of depth. A noble effort, but one that couldn't quite resist cheap thrills when it conceivably could have been something more.

Rating: 5/10

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