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Movie rating system (0-2) The movie is balls (2-4) A few moments but mostly bad (4-5.5) Entertaining film but lacking something to make it good. (6-7.5) A recommendation meaning a good solid watch. (8-10) must watch films, they are usually leaders in their respective genre. I can also be found on Facebook or follow my blog at the bottom of this page. THERE MAY BE MINI SPOILERS AHEAD!!! But there will be no endings/twists/cameos/or large plot reveals given.

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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day
Drama (Horror, Thriller)
Rated: R
Running Time: 112 minutes
Starring: Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, Briana Evigan, Shawn Ashmore, Frank Grillo
Directed By: Darren Lynn Bousman
Rating: 2.5 out of 10
A house party is broken up by a violent home invasion.

If this movie isn’t a clear sign that Hollywood is running out of ideas, then I don’t know what is. What’s next, a film about a serial killer who kills people for wearing white after Labor Day? What about a film about a serial killer who kills people with bad memories on Remembrance Day? Mother’s Day is the story of a group of friends having a house party. What should be a fun and relaxed time quickly turns frightening as they are subjected to a home invasion by wanted fugitives. The fugitives are all part of the infamous Koffin family, and they are led by their domineering mother.

A quick introduction where a baby is abducted from a hospital, sets the film up nicely in a few ways. It shows the viewer that the film can be overtly gory and bloody. It also shows that this movie has a reasonable budget for such a poorly titled film. Lastly, it sets the tone for a matriarchal figure to lead a family of misfits. Fast forward many years and we find a house party underway at the Sohapi residence. The booze flows freely as the eclectic group listens to music and shoots some pool. Their happiness is about to be shattered as the fugitive Koffin family descends on the house (which used to be the Koffin childhood home.) From this point on the film descends into a clichéd thriller where the fugitives threaten their captives, but never really restrain them properly. Where the fugitives make their captives fist fight each other, but leave them within an arm’s reach of kitchen knives and pool cues. Where the fugitives search the captives for money, but never search the house properly for other valuables. All of this is happening while Mother Koffin calmly walks around directing her brood. She even makes a cake during this home invasion. We get it Mrs. Koffin, you are a mom. We are also supposed to believe that people who rob banks for a living cannot properly subdue people at a house party? We are also to believe that a tornado warning has emptied the entire neighborhood so no one hears gunshots or screams? Lastly, we are to believe that these fugitives like to torture random people for no reason? It is a lot to sit through for one movie.

I didn’t mind the acting individually, but hated this acting as a group. The fugitives were made up of the tired and seen before criminal staples. There is the older menacing brother, the slightly crazy middle brother, and the innocent looking younger brother. All held together by a constipated looking mother, played by Rebecca De Mornay. Some people will say that De Mornay does a great job of being the glue that holds this film together. I found her weird persona a major distraction and I didn’t remotely buy into her performance. The fugitives try and please their mother by tormenting the captives, and in this torment we find a group of people who don’t remotely like each other for various reasons. There is a greasy looking business man with an attractive but scantily clad gothic woman. There is a doctor and his girlfriend. There is a couple in love, and there is also a couple with secret problems. Lastly, there is a random single person thrown into the mix (That is usually my role at the party, baby! So I won’t criticize that!) The utter lack of believability in these people hanging out together is glaring. So when they are arguing about how to escape, it just seems ludicrous. Also, do we really need another film where there is a doctor to mend all injuries? The group makes suspect decisions and at the end of the day they were thoroughly disagreeable to watch.

As the film presses on it is clear that there are going to be a number of gruesome deaths. The question is not will they all survive but how many? The gore is actually really well done with a combination of CGI and different make-up techniques. There are gaping wounds left by all sorts of weapons, and graphic scenes of torture and violence which should appeal to some. The film could actually have worked if they tightened up the story in a bunch of places. There was no reason for any of the film to take place outside the confines of the Sohapi house, and yet they venture out to different locations around the town. The captives make many escape attempts and yet go unpunished for a lot of the movie. Also, when people are fighting for their lives, you would think they would invest in a simple double tap to make sure the job is done (See Zombieland for double tap reference.) There are many more problematic scenes of this nature, I was just naming a few. The film struggles to its predictable end and it proves one thing: Holiday horror films are mostly balls. In conclusion, this film suffers from stupid characters doing stupid things. There is so many clichéd and hackneyed scenes, that anyone who has seen a couple of horror movies before will get bored. The director also seems to be worried about being called a misogynist, as the guys get frakking tortured while the women go virtually unscathed in comparison. The positives are that the gore and effects are surprisingly well done and the body count is high, but it doesn’t make up for the idiotic story.

It shouldn’t be surprising that director Darren Lynn Bousman knows gore as he directed the Saw movies, 2 through 4. He suffers from the same directorial flaws with this film though. He is worried too much about the killing strokes and not enough about the buildup. The casting is mostly suspect, and there is too much

happening to get emotionally invested in any of the characters. He knows his blood and guts, but lacks style.

I cannot recommend this film and I wonder if I could just give my copy of this film to my mother for Mother’s Day?

T Factor + If you like your horror films to have high body counts then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you like great stories to accompany your thrillers then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Strangers, Panic Room.   

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