Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mother's Day (2010)

As I’ve mentioned before, in other reviews and in my everyday life, the 1980s was a great decade for horror films.  Movies were divvied out, one after another, so theaters never had a shortage of the genre.  I attended many of those films and made sure to rent them when they were released on VHS during the rental boom of the late 80s and most of the 90s.  I had seen so many 80s horror films, it made my head spin, and I’m hard-pressed to remember any of their plots if you were to ask me about most of those obscure films.  To this day, I’ll find a title or two from the time span of 1980 to 1989 that I’ll enjoy, making me wonder how I had missed it back then.  Movies like Night of the Creeps and Chopping Mall come to mind when I think of certain films I’ve just discovered recently. 

On the flip side to that, sometimes I’ll discover an 80s horror film by hearing about a remake of one.  Sometimes I’ve heard of them, but sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes I’ll enjoy the original better than the reboot, but a lot of times I don’t.  And that was the case when I had heard about the remake of Mother’s Day.

When it was announced that the film was in the can, ready to be picked up for distribution so that it can have a theatrical run, I decided that I should see the original to be able to compare the films when I finally get to see the rehash.  So, going to my trusty Netflix account, I entered a search for the original film and put it in my queue to be sent right away.  A few days later, when I received the disc in the mail, I put it in my PS3 and started watching it.  Ten minutes in, I ejected the disc and sent it back to Netflix.  I don’t want to blast it since I had only watched a small portion of it, but I guess I just wasn’t in the mood to see that type of low budget filming.  In that short time, the movie started out kind of silly and it just seemed like something I wouldn’t want to see.  One day I’ll give it another try, but for now, let’s just focus on 2010’s Mother’s Day.

Although the movie was planned to be released in theaters back in 2010, the date was postponed time and time again until it was finally—and quietly—released in May of 2012.  Not only was it indistinctly released, it was only shown on a small number of screens—in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.  Less than a week after its tiny theater run, the film was released on home media, so that was when I decided to place the film in my Netflix queue.

The two things that sold me on the film were the trailer and the fact that it was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman.  Bousman directed some of the best sequels of the Saw franchise of films.  He also had a hand in writing part two (along with Leigh Whannell), so I knew Mother’s Day would be in good hands with him.  The trailer definitely solidified my sentiments and I noticed right away that it was going to be far different from the original 1980 version (the ten minutes I had seen anyway), so I was ready.  The disc finally showed up in my mailbox and I stuck it in my PS3 right away.

The overall story is about Beth and Daniel Sohapi (Jaime King and Frank Grillo) having a group of friends over their house for a little get together.  They all decide to convene in their basement game room to socialize
with some music and billiards.  Soon, three men enter the home with one of them injured from a gunshot wound because of a botched robbery.  After finding the party downstairs, the men keep the friends at bay until their mother (Rebecca de Mornay) arrives.  As it turns out, the family used to own the house and money had been sent there for the last few months…and they won’t leave until they get it.

With some of the flaws this film has, I still like it and feel it has some type of rewatchability (did I just make up a new word?) merit.  Now, there are some scenes where you’ll feel a bit uncomfortable, some parts where you feel you may have done something different than what the characters do in the story, and there may be a few things you’ll find hard to believe.  But I, myself, have bought this movie on Blu-Ray just the other day because I felt it was a good and gritty movie overall.

Though the villain characters had sort of cookie-cutter attributes to even them all out, I felt it brought a balance to all of them at the beginning.  You had the older brother, Izaak Patrick Flueger), who was the levelheaded one of the bunch, almost as composed as their mother, Natalie (De Mornay).  Then you’ve got the hothead, ready-to-kill baddie, Addley (Warren Kole), who has no remorse about abusing the women of the group of friends and trying to get a rise out of the significant-others just so he has a reason to hurt them as well.  The little sister to all of them, Lydia (Debora Ann Woll) is the one most troubled and unsure of her part in the family.  Out of all of them, and the one who doesn’t have much to do, is the injured little brother, Johnny (Matt O’Leary).

From the group of friends, we have believable fright displayed as well as opposing differences on what they all think they should do.  It’s almost a good look at human relations and a test at how they really feel deep down inside one another as they’re pushed —sometimes with deadly force by the villains—to show their true natures.  You, as an audience, will have no trouble identifying yourself with most of the characters.  With some of the arguments they get into about what they should do, you can actually see both sides and feel that you might have done either choice they were faced with.  I can most identify with the head of the household, Daniel (Grillo), and felt that he was right all along, that if they had just cooperated and get the family what they want, they would be left alone and unhurt.  But, of course, if they did just that, it wouldn’t be much of a movie.

Underneath the main plot of the film is a subplot involving the two characters that King and Grillo play.  It’s a little ambiguous at the beginning as we see King’s character looking melancholy and tearing up at times, but as the story moves along within the first few minutes of the film, we notice that she watches Grillo’s character reproachfully as he interacts with the other female characters.  We soon realize that they are having marital problems and it’s a good touch to add to the story, coming to a head near the end of the film.

Now this is definitely a horror film, but not a slasher or anything supernatural, but a real-life type of horror film.  So, of course, the filmmakers needed to get some gruesome images into the flick and they really added some scenes that may make some of you turn away from the screen.  The make-up effects featured within the film is quite real-looking and stomach-churning at times.  Adding that to the film definitely gives the whole situation the protagonists are in an ominous feel---that there are repercussions that they’ll face if they run afoul of the antagonists. 

Anyway, so I don’t give too much more away about this film, let me give you my final “bit” on Mother’s Day.

Though, at times, the film may make you feel uncomfortable—you’ll actually go through a whole whirlwind of I Spit on Your Grave or The Last House on the Left, so you can easily watch this without feeling like you’re watching pornography.  As soon as the three brothers enter the picture, the film just doesn’t let up with the sadistic atmosphere you’ll feel.  The only problem I have with the film is that I felt the movie should’ve ended on a higher note, which I can’t explain without giving the ending away.  But the movie, as a whole, is worth a watch and it may teach you to lock your doors in case the previous owners come by for some money they think they’re due.  Don’t miss this one.

emotions for that matter—the film is really not as unpleasant as, say, 

Thanks for reading!

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