Three brothers, on the run from the law, take refuge in their childhood home. Unbeknownst to them, their matriarch has lost their house to foreclosure. When the boys arrive, they find that a new family has moved in to their home. Not wanting to let a little thing like home ownership get in the way of their plans, the brothers and their maniacal mother take the current owners hostage and lay down the law.
MOTHER’S DAY 2010 is great. I expected a gut wrenching, arterial spraying, intestinal spewing torture fest. As it turns out, MOTHER’S DAY 2010 takes a much more refined approach to filmmaking. It’s part home invasion thriller, part retribution flick, and part horror film. Coming from Darren Lynn Bousman, I didn’t expect something that would so effectively meld genres while staying within boundaries of good taste. MOTHER’S DAY 2010 has a lot of brutality and a fair amount of gore, but it’s not done in the same way that it was in Bousman’s earlier films. It’s obvious that he has grown as a director. Bousman still brings the goods and the film is still brutal and perverse, but in a a cerebral and savvy way. The camera actually pans away during the most violent scenes in the film. We still see the aftermath, but taking a less intense approach, the film becomes more about the characters and their on screen dynamic. That impressed me. I love a good splatterfest, but with this film, Bousman has proved that he is capable of more than that. He’s proven that he can make a movie that is thought provoking as well as violent. It’s unfortunate that MOTHER’S DAY was shelved for several years and then received a joke of a theatrical run before essentially going direct to DVD. I am, however, not surprised as Anchor Bay took a really similar approach to relasing Scott Glosserman‘s BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON.
The performances are excellent. Jamie Pressley and Rebecaa DeMornay both turned in outstanding performances. Jamie Pressley really impressed me by playing opposite every other character I’ve seen her play. She was timid and almost mousy. She sold it, though. I expected her usual ‘hot girl’ performance and she caught me completely off guard with her portrayal of Beth.
I was really pleased with the way that MOTHER’S DAY 2012 pays tribute to MOTHER’S DAY 1980 but also works as a standalone effort. Some of the character’s names from the original film were kept and Queenie is also back. That’s we’re the similarities stop. MOTHER’S DAY 2012 does what more remakes should have do. It uses the original as a rough outline and then branches out and tells its own story. There is none of the signature ‘Troma camp’ that the original was saturated with, but Bousman did throw in a very brief Lloyd Kaufman cameo, which was a nice touch.
The pacing is solid throughout. We get to know the cast and develop an attachment to them, from the beginning. Lititle by little, we learn that the hostages aren’t as innocent as they once appeared. We also learn a little bit about Mother and her boys and what makes them tick. MOTHER’S DAY provides an interesting look at the impact of our upbringing and how a little bad parenting can create a colossal asshole.
The only thing I would have approached differnetly was the retribution sequences. MOTHER’S DAY 1980 has one of the best retribution sequences, ever. The 2012 version focused more on the buildup and developing the characters and the actual retribution secenes were pretty brief. I did appreciate that Bousman paid tribute to some of the more colorful methods employed during the original revenge sequences, though.
I really enjoyed MOTHER’S DAY. It is worth a watch for almost any audience. It’s not straight horror. It’s a well crafted psychological horror thriller. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.