Select Page

Mother’s Day (2010)

Mother’s Day (2010)

Mother’s Day (2010)

Starring Rebecca De Mornay, Jamie King and Shawn Ashmore. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

A celebration at home with friends takes a frightening and fatal turn for Beth and Daniel Sohapi when a sadistic and violent group of brothers arrive at what was once their childhood home but things get even more dangerous when mother turns up.


Continuing the contemporary trend of remakes, ‘Mother’s Day‘ is a loose remake of the 1980 Troma movie of the same name that shares some of the themes but moves the setting and reorganises the characters. While remakes are rarely spoken of in favourable terms, particularly in horror-genre circles, this one is likely to be looked upon a lot more favourably as it succeeds in being thoroughly nasty, borderline disturbing and an accomplishment in cinematic terms compared to its rather dubious source material.


However, it is difficult to be overly positive about this movie as the bar for the suspension of disbelief is set disconcertingly high. Those who are prone to shouting at their television sets when witnessing an individual carrying out an incredibly moronic action may find themselves hoarse by the end of ‘Mother’s Day‘ as so few of the characters exhibit any semblance of intelligent behaviour. Even the supposed “evil mastermind” that is Mother is quite prone to being afflicted by spontaneous bouts of idiocy and the central protagonists of the piece for whom we are supposed to empathise with are so excruciatingly stupid that it is hard to see them as little more than fodder.


And this is perhaps where the movie falls apart; it simply cannot connect the audience to the characters in any meaningful way. As a reasonable human being we are supposed to be horrified and sickened by the actions of the twisted Koffin clan and for the most part we are but the lunacy exhibited by not only the antagonists but those we are supposed to sympathise with brings about little more than an uncomfortable confusion coupled with an almost dismissive attitude to their well-being.

Mother's Day

Further frustration is found in the rather obvious cases of plot armour adorned to various characters in order to resolve situations that would otherwise lead to inconsistencies in the narrative, yet in some cases actually cause more inconsistencies. In one such example a character who should be dead or at the least unconscious is able to scrawl a message which would lead to a SWAT team response within minutes. Either the movie fails at adequately depicting the passing of time or it pushes artistic licence to the very edge as one can only conclude that the SWAT team in question was arriving from Alaska given its dawdling response time.


Other peculiar narrative choices include haphazardly building up a bit-part character as someone who will become central to the plot, most likely for the better and then using them as nothing more than a swerve but in such an amateurish fashion that it is quite easy to forget this particular character is even there for the most part. Clearly the idea was to manipulate the audience into empathy, yet the focus is placed on a character whose very presence in the movie is largely unnecessary except to provide a little extra shock toward the end. And it is probably best we don’t even discuss the attempted rape scene.


Mother’s Day‘ comes across as a movie where the violent set-pieces and major plot points were decided in advance and the rest of the narrative was thrown around it in an often awkward bid to bind everything together. In spite of all the criticisms one could level at ‘Mother’s Day‘ the truth is it isn’t a bad movie, it just isn’t a good movie. When ‘Mother’s Day’ isn’t a parade of morons and the eerily resilient, the movie serves up a rather gripping assortment of grizzly treats.


Rebecca De Mornay’s performance is a show-stealer as the mad matriarch of the Koffin family while Jaime King (better known as Goldie/Wendy in ‘Sin City‘) works well with what she is given as the rather hapless Beth, giving a much needed touch of humanity to an incredibly daft character. Other performances are acceptable with no real stand-outs. The cinematography and set-pieces are very well done and this is a film in which the MTV-style flash-editing so prevalent in contemporary horror cinema is kept to a welcome minimum so that it doesn’t suffer as a consequence of superficial polish.


Overall, ‘Mother’s Day‘ is a reasonable attempt at a modern exploitation picture horribly marred by such inconsistencies of logic and narrative that even some of its forefathers managed to avoid. When the film works, it works well – it is unsettling, violent, occasionally shocking and does start to slowly crank the tension toward the end – but to enjoy the good parts, you’re going to have to sit through a copious amount of nonsensical dross.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Before the Dawn’s Light

Hidden Horror

Recent Tweets

Movie Reviews