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May 8, 2012

Movie Review: Mother's Day (2010)

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

Starring Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King and Shawn Ashmore

Mother's Day begins by showing us a scene where a woman walks into a hospital and steals three babies out of a hospital nursery, her evil intentions are made known quickly when a security guard isviciously killed with a knife, (although we never find out who it was that killed that security guard). It then cuts to three brothers who are on the run from the law after a botched bank robbery. One of them has a nasty shotgun wound and is barely clinging to life. In a panic, they decide as a last resort to head back to mother's house for refuge. When they get there though, they soon realize that their house is occupied by strangers. Apparently the house was foreclosed on and mother is nowhere to be found.

After taking a group of 30 somethings hostage in the house, the brothers call mother and she soon shows up in a motor-home with the mousy daughter in tow. And amazingly, one of the house-guests happens to be a doctor who is able to stabilize the wounded brother. Mother, as one would imagine, is not happy with the situation. Not so much the fact that she has three sons who are psychopathic, murdering bank robbers, but the fact that she has to deal with the people who now possess what she once owned, her precious house. What ensues is nearly two hours of pointless torture of the new homeowners and house-guests, this ranges from stripping off toupee's to pouring boiling water in a guys ears, to setting a girls head on fire, among countless other acts of humiliation and assault that seems to go on and on forever. Eventually, the victims fight back but it was just too little too late to make for a rewarding ending for me, and the obligatory plot-twist at the end was not only unbelievable but completely unsatisfying from a film-viewers point of view.

And even though the brothers and mother, played by Rebecca De Morney, do develop into truly despicable villains, there is really no one to cheer for in this movie, due to the fact that most of the victims are nothing but cowering, back-stabbing weasels. With all the characters who do exhibit even the slightest hint of a back bone getting killed off along the way.

I think director Darrel Lynn Bousman's biggest mistake in this movie was spending way too much time coming up with creative ways of torturing the protagonist's and forgetting all about what viewers of torture/revenge movies are looking forward to, the creative ways in which the victims eventually end up paying back the antagonists. When we do get to the ending of the movie and its pay-back time,the kill scenes are average at best, and for such a long movie that was extremely disappointing.

De Mornay plays the role of Mother well enough, she is menacing to be sure, but her character just seemed to come off as a bit of a cliché. Constantly spouting off pearls of motherly wisdom and sage advice in between death threats and ordering her children to do the most despicable of acts. I wanted to see her drawn and quartered when it was all over and we weren't rewarded with anything even remotely close to that. (again, quite frustrating) I think the director sacrificed what the audience deserved to experience (Mother really getting what was coming to her) for nothing more then an open-ended story,(sequel anyone?).

The movie has a slick look and feel to it, the effects were well done and its even suspenseful at times, but there are just so many holes in the story that it made it tough to buy into what was happening. I guess in a nut-shell I would say its a slightly better then average torture/revenge flick that just ran out of gas (and creativity) at the end. Two hours of relentless torture followed by an ending that's been done a hundred times before. Anchor Bay is pretty well respected in most horror circles, and rightful so, they have some top-notch horror titles to their credit, unfortunately this one probably wont be remembered as one of their best.

I'd rate it 5.5 out of 10 Reviewed by KennyB

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