May 4, 2012 (Limited U.S. Theatrical)
Scott Milam (screenplay), Charles Kaufman (1980 screenplay "Mother's Day"), Warren Leight (1980 screenplay "Mother's Day")
Darren Lynn Bousman
Rebecca De Mornay as Natalie 'Mother' Koffin
Jaime King as Beth Sohapi
Patrick Flueger as Izaak 'Ike' Koffin
Warren Kole as Addley Koffin
Deborah Ann Woll as Lydia Koffin
Briana Evigan as Annette Langston
Shawn Ashmore as George Barnum
Frank Grillo as Daniel Sohapi
Mom can be a source of comfort, stability, unconditional love and support, at least for those who have a good one (like I do). In horror that concept leaves some “wiggle room” to be played with, and Darren Lynn Bousman’sMother’s Day takes that concept to an extreme and exposes the dark underbelly of psychotic motherly love.
What begins as a fun get-together among friends (who all have serious lies and secrets between them) goes terribly wrong when a band of thugs on the run burst onto the scene, one of them sporting a gunshot wound that is already near-fatal. It isn’t by mere happenstance that the criminals stumble upon this particular house – it used to be their house. It seems the home was lost to foreclosure while the boys were off running amok and picked up for a song by the Sohapi family (Frank Grillo and Jamie King). Nice effort to apply some timeliness and social relevance to the scenario.
The men on the run terrorize the partiers extensively, but all are waiting for the arrival of the ringleader and guest of honor: Mother. When Mother gets here, she’ll know what to do. Indeed, when Mother gets here things are certainly going to take a turn for the worse.
Mother’s Day is quite a surprise. Having known nothing at all about this film other than the director, Darren Lynn Bousman, also helmed Saw II – IV and Repo! The Genetic Opera along with a couple of higher profile horror films recently – 11-11-11 (2011) and The Devil’s Carnival (2012) – The appearance of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Alum Rebecca De Mornay was quite a treat indeed. Had that villain not died at the end of that 1992 film Mother’s Day could almost be a sequel. De Mornay is quite amazing in this offering – quite amazing indeed. When I saw her as a hooker in Risky Business (1983) I really thought she was terrible and hoped I’d never see her again, but her performance in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle was spectacular and I was a convert. So creepy, so much happening under the cover or normalcy… just awesome. De Morney’s performance in Mother’s Day continues on that vein and then some, and every second she is on screen is nothing short of electrifying. I don’t think I’ve used that word in a review before because it’s so cheesy, but it’s true.
The rest of the performances in Mother’s Day are definitely credible, and the story works fine – not to gush, but it’s hard to notice much of anything other than De Mornay who carries this film completely and secures it’s success almost single-handedly. In case you missed it, she is really fantastic in this film.
Mother’s Day is recommended, and I will mention that those who watched and enjoyed The Hand That Rocked the Cradle and enjoyed it will likely enjoy Mother’s Day more than those who haven’t. It almost makes sense to make it a double feature and drudge up that film first. On my next viewing of this one I intend to do just that – and there absolutely will be a next viewing.