“Mother’s Day” Midnight Madness

What better time to have the Midwest Premiere of a worthy re-imagining of the 1980 Horror classic Mother’s Day than shortly after midnight on Mother’s Day?  And what better venue than Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre?Mother's Day Poster

Hundreds of energetic moviegoers applauded as the red curtain rose, then cheered after a suspenseful, 80’s-esque opening sequence was followed by “MOTHER’S DAY” splayed across the screen.

Since I’m a sucker for a well-executed contained thriller, what struck me most about this film was how it successfully combined a modern-style contained thriller with 1980’s horror DNA to create a unique and entertaining hybrid.

One thing that seems to separate many of the modern-day horror films from their 1980’s predecessors is the quality of acting.  Of course, we expect professional-grade performances from the likes of Rebecca De Mornay, Shawn Ashmore, and Jaime King, but I can honestly say that the entire cast was excellent and provided a marvelous texture to the film.  I loved Rebecca De Mornay’s sprinkling of motherly advice and care at the most awkward and sometimes disturbing moments.  If Nigel Tufnel were to review this film, he would say that these moments “bring the creep factor to 11.”

Fans of Darren Lynn Bousman and his contributions to the Saw franchise will also delight at what I’ll call the “ATM Scene.”  It was a unique, fun and disturbing cinematic moment that had me at once laughing and cringing.  Good stuff and itself worth the price of admission (okay, I didn’t pay to get in, but if I did…).

At times my suspension of disbelief was stretched to its limit.  But it actually seemed to add to the experience rather than detract because it was true to the genre and certainly to the flavor of 1980’s horror —  any other film that takes itself too seriously would certainly have cracked under the pressure.

The Ending:

No spoilers here! I could talk about how the ending was a shocking twist and how it fulfilled the necessity in cinematic storytelling that the climax be an “inevitable surprise,” but any words I could try to come up with would only pale in comparison to what the young guy in front of me blurted out in that infinite moment between the fading final scene and end credits…

“Aaaw, hell no!”

Happy Mother’s Day  :)


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