I might get some flak for the next couple of statements but I’m not a fan of the original Mother’s Day. I mean, I guess it’s alright for a Troma film but I particularly care for their stuff anyways. I know they have found a fan-base and I respect their independent mindset but I don’t find their catalog appealing or humorous. That is why, even if Troma had nothing to do with it, I didn’t have any expectations for the remake of Mother’s Day. I didn’t really understand why they would remake this particular title either. Remake territory can get pretty weird because you never know what to expect. It can either be shot for shot (Psycho) or it can be a different take on the source material (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to an extent). Either way, it can be horrible or wonderful but it’s always a mixed bag. Mother’s Day (2010) decided to do something entirely different from its predecessor and was able to turn itself into a gory good time.
This remake has nothing to do with the original plot other than having a psychotic mother and her loyal children. There’s isn’t any old college friends going camping in the wilderness and there isn’t any humor to speak of, this is a straight-up horror film.
The movie starts with a dinner party being hosted by a woman named Beth (Jaime King) who starts by composing her crying-self in the bathroom. We understand that she is having some personal problems but she’s putting them off for fear of ruining the party. There are a numerous amount of friends in the house and all are staying close to the T.V. because of reports of an incoming storm (foreshadowing?) and none hear when three men burst into the house upstairs.
Enter the Koffin brothers, they just got back from a botched bank robbery (like Reservoir Dogs) and the one brother is shot. As they lay him on the couch, they realize that this is not their house, or at least, it doesn’t look like it. Beth’s husband goes upstairs because heard some crashing. He walks in on the brothers in his bedroom and is taken down from behind. Soon the brothers take over the house and wait for their mother to show up, so she can sort this business out.
There are a large amount of films out there that present these killer-families as backwards or retarded and to be honest, I’m getting tired of always seeing that. Mother’s Day does a great job at showing that the family is a little nuts but they aren’t stupid or simple. There are three brothers, the one is lying on the couch and bleeding for most of the movie, while the other two are able to be more animated. The tinier brother named Addley (Warren Kole), plays the short fuse wild child who shoots more than he thinks. The other brother named Ike (Patrick Flueger), who plays the brain of the brothers and thinks more about the situation. They do a fine job at playing beliveable killers, all except the mother.
I don’t have many qualms with this film but I really didn’t like The Mother, played by Rebecca De Mornay. She was supposed to be this crazy, psychopathic matriarch but comes off very unconvincing. I didn’t fear her in the movie and didn’t care whether she lived or died but that’s the only thing that really stuck out as a negative for me. She looks so young too, I would think she would look older but, whatever.
Mother’s Day reminded me of The Strangers but on a grander scale, that is to say that there are hostages within a house and they are constantly trying to outwit their captors but keep getting dragged back anyways. It’s grander because there are a larger amount of hostages in this film as compared to only two in The Strangers. These “friends” turn out to be horrible people and throughout the course of the film their true, evil sides come out. Are they any better than the killers?
The violence and gore in the film is well done and I’m not surprised they haven’t advertised that aspect more. Much like The Strangers, you wouldn’t expect this film to be as gory and brutal compared to things like Saw and Hostel, but it is. Very realistic too and there were parts that had me cringing with disgust (there is one wild nail gun scene). Not a lot of computer generated gore either, which is always a plus for me. There’s also a nice score for the film that reminds me a bit of Carpenter’s stuff, with the repetitive piano riff pumping through a large portion of the film.
I highly recommend this film to any horror lover, but its had a hard time getting distribution so it might be difficult to find. Aside from the mother character and poor ending (sigh), this is worth every minute of your time. I am hoping maybe BD Selects grabs this but we shall see. It’s a terrifying film that’s littered with decent performances, great script (no shitty one liners), and realistic violence. Don’t miss it!