From the director who helmed some of the Saw franchise (the rubbish ones), Darren Lynn Bousman takes to the director’s chair for this loose remake of the 1980 Troma B-film classic Mother’s Day; taking our protagonists out of the woods and into the suburbs, where a demented mother (Rebecca De Mornay) and her ‘children’ terrorise a group of friends having a house party.
He said: It’s a familiar set up to say the least (The Strangers meets Funny Games); the Halloween inspired theme does nothing to spark the flames of freshness but there’s fun to be had once the gift wrap comes off.
She said: A highly polished little shocker with plenty of fun to be had, audiences will be familiar with the formula but will no doubt enjoy the ride anyway.
He said: Too many characters have nothing to do and too many themes are left unexplored, but a strong cast is on hand to keep things on track. Patrick Flueger is excellent as conflicted son Ike; Warren Kole hams it up as nut job Addley and Shawn Ashmore (X-Men, Frozen) should’ve been the lead character in the first place.
She said: Feisty Briana Evigan and a formidable Shawn Ashmore offer two noteworthy performances, while bad boy Patrick Flueger is matched pound for pound by his screen mum, Rebecca De Mornay. Warren Kole, playing Addley, is a frustrating villain, but at least you can’t wait for his comeuppance, something that shouldn’t be said for the supposed victims, including Jaime King and Frank Grillo who both lack any kind of empathy whatsoever and deserve to be butchered.
He said: Jaime King and Frank Grillo remain on the side-lines throughout. This should’ve been Rebecca De Mornay’s movie - and she does rock the cradle with both hands - but Briana Evigan (Sorority Row) burns brightest as Annette Langstone, nailing her role in every sense of the word.
She said: I’ve always wanted to be nailed by Briana Evigan.
He said: True Blood’s Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) has the most intriguing story arc though, bringing her vulnerable firecracker shtick to the table and running away with the movie.
She said: Which one is she again? Oh, the pasty redhead. Yeah, she’s okay, but I wasn’t convinced by her sub-plot. She seemed like quite a strong character really, and I found it difficult to believe she could be such a gullible little girl.
He said: It’s a shame that nothing really happens in the first hour.
She said: There’s that ridiculous moment when King and Flueger go to a cashpoint - seasoned horror buffs will struggle to suspend disbelief. And what about the hair-raising wig scene? Even with his hair-piece intact, how did he pull Evigan? Speaking of which, you forgot about her dance with the pool cue.
He said: One character in particular has ‘dispensable’ written all over her nightdress despite a welcome revelation late in the day that never truly resonates. That’s the biggest problem with Mother’s Day - characterisation is slight and you’ll probably find yourself rooting for your favourite characters from other films.
She said: Evigan. Ashmore.
He said: Things do improve in the final act. Bousman brings on the much-needed carnage and Mother’s Day ends on a deliriously decadent high note. There are a number of wrong turns taken throughout but Bousman’s macabre tale gets enough right to stop it from straying too far off course. Drawn out though it is, Bousman’s Mother’s Day is definitely worth a look.
She said: Never less than engaging, Mother’s Day is better than most and will be more appreciated by newbies to the genre, while the old maestros will find something to enjoy, but it won’t blow them away. Evigan looks great in black underwear though.