I don’t think they have a card for this one.
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Stars: Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, and Shawn Ashmore
MPAA Rating: R
She is your mother. She’s the woman who loves you. She cares for you. Protects you. Makes sure you behave. Renders punishment if you do not. The very least you can do is celebrate and honor that special lady on the day that has been dedicated to her. In 1980, Troma Entertainment arguably honored mothers everywhere by making a horror film based on the day. And, as is the case with most cult movies, we now have the remake, MOTHER’S DAY. Will this one make your mother proud?
MOTHER’S DAY begins with a group of good-looking, successful yuppies celebrating a birthday. However, the party goes sour when it is crashed by a family of criminals with a mortally-wounded younger brother. The home invasion gets more complicated, and more twisted, when their mother comes along to corral her family and mete out her own brand of discipline to the uncooperative hostages.
MOTHER’S DAY is one of those rare remakes that manages to be better than the original. It isn’t perfect. It delves into heavy-handed melodrama at times with numerous revelations about the secrets that these friends keep from each other. There are also a handful of far-fetched moments that run dangerously close to breaking the suspension of disbelief. Yet, the film has a consistent tone, and it stays true to its characters and plot.
The performances are the primary strength of the movie. All of the actors do an exceptional job, but special mention must go to Rebecca De Mornay as the Mother. She can be loving, caring, and doting one moment, then ruthless, sadistic, and psychotic the next. She transitions between these two states with alarming ease, and it can be downright unsettling and terrifying at times. It’s a standout performance, and should be remembered as one of her best.
The film showcases some very good behind-the-scenes talent as well. The script by Scott Milam makes good use of the scenario and its characters, even in the more outlandish points in the story. Darren Lynn Bousman’s direction is assured and confident. The special effects are convincing and realistic. The music score is well-suited to the material. The editing is pretty terrific as well. The film has a very good pace, and never gets dull or boring.
Remakes often fail, but MOTHER’S DAY manages to beat the odds and make an impression. It may not attain the cult classic status of its predecessor, but its a fine production that works very well. And it’s definitely worth checking out for the wonderfully nasty turn by De Mornay.
MOTHER’S DAY is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD. It can be recommended by this critic.
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