Monday, March 19, 2012

Mother’s Day (2010 remake)

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

The original Mother’s Day is a cult classic from the 1980’s that is generally only remembered by fans of the horror genre. In an age where remakes are as prevalent as YouTube remixes, they usually wind up being terrible more often than not. They are produced with the production company’s intent to cash in on the success of past films and lure fans of the original into a world of unknowing disappointment. Luckily, writer Scott Milam scribed a rather intriguing story all too loosely based on the source material and offers moviegoers a film worth their time and money.

After a botched transaction, the Koffin brothers return to their mother’s house in order to reunite with the rest of their family and get the heck out of Dodge. To their surprise, mom lost her house to foreclosure, which is now inhabited by the (un)lucky new owners and their friends hanging out for a get together. One of the brothers, Johnny (Matt O’Leary), was seriously injured in their botched job, leaving Ike (Patrick Flueger) and Addley (Warren Kole) to call on their Mother Kofflin (Rebecca De Mornay) for a rendezvous at her old home while keeping the guests hostage. Once Mother along with daughter Lydia (Deborah Ann Woll) arrive on the scene, she is very genuine in the fact that if the guests cooperate, the clan will leave in piece. However, there are two conditions. One is that George (Shawn Ashmore), the doctor among the friends, does his best to keep Johnny alive, and two, that she can learn where the money her boys have been sending her is located. Even though the owners, Beth (Jamie King) and Daniel (Frank Grillo), claim to have never received anything addressed to her, Mother is not buying it and tensions start erupting when her funds are not being handed over.

As you can tell, this is not your daddy’s Mother’s Day. This is a whole new ballgame. The family members have increased with a female sibling to boot and gone is the notion that they are a bat-sheet crazy backwoods family. Addley is a bit of a loose cannon, but the Ike and Mother are extremely level headed, both containing some instances of compassion and portraying a more believable style of villain for this era. References are made to the original, such as Queenie and some of the deaths, but those miniscule tidbits are the only minor comparisons that can be made. Mix in some twists and turns as well as meaningful secondary stories and you will start to wonder why this film is even considered a remake at all.  It is like a film that just had the Mother's Day brand tag thrown on it for marketing purposes.

The acting is top notch from every participant, notwithstanding veteran De Mornay, who was the major reason that The Hand That Rocks the Cradle was such a huge success in the 90’s. King is extremely surprising in her performance as well...who know she had this type of talent inside of her. Overall, there is no bone to pick with any of the acting and director Darren Lynn Bousman is definitely not a remake hack…even his two Saw sequels (parts 2 and 3 only) were just as good as the original. Don’t let the two-hour running time scare you off either because the Bousman and Milam duo never let the film drag and make every second relevant.

Since Mother’s Day is a bit of an obscure flick outside of horror fandom, the thought of a remake instead of a long awaited sequel can easily be written off as another bad film in the remake bucket and easy way for Hollywood to rob moviegoers of their hard earned cash. That is until you watch this film and realize just how entertaining it really is. One has to wonder why this has never (and will probably never) receive its deserved U.S. theatrical release while countless, dime-a-dozen romantic comedies pop up in theaters every This Means Bore, I mean War.

Forget your memories of the 1980 original, don’t fear the remake jinx and make sure to find this one On Demand if you can. And most of all, here is wishing you all a very happy Mother’s Day.

4 out of 5 Creeper Santas



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