Mother's Day (2010)

Director: Darren Lynn Bousman (2010)
Starring: Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, Shawn Ashmore
Find it: IMDB

Note: this review has lost a Screaming Scream Queen since I watched it in 2013. Between then and now, I have seen the original Mother's Day and this, sirs and madams, does not compare well. 

A family of criminals break into a house full of the bickering middle classes and their also bickering, also middle class friends (plus crap toupee) looking to recover a stash of money they left there years ago. Leading the criminal clan is Natalie 'Mother' Koffin (the hand that rocked the cradle, Rebecca De Mornay) who proves to be just as ruthless and violent as her horrible sons. Mother's Day is a heartwarming tale of the bond betwixt mother and child.

Mother's Day also continues a recent trend in horror movies in which Shawn Ashmore (Iceman from X-Men) plays useless characters in horror movies and lets everyone he loves die around him. Here he plays a doctor, but not a good one, like The Doctor or Doctor Dre; no, a sad, wet one, like Doctor Jack from LOST.

He's not alone though: all of the characters in Mother's Day are either unlikeable or ineffectual. Sometimes they're both. The house guests (the invited ones) argue and lie and throw one another under the bus at the slightest chance of survival. It's little wonder that Mother Koffin gets so frustrated with the lying bastards. In its treatment of the characters and depiction of its villains, Mother's Day feels very old-fashioned, like an authentic video nasty or exploitation flick. Darren Lynn Bousman does a great job with this remake; it's far more enjoyable than any Saw movie (of which Bousman directed the best instalments) - it's tense, thrilling and a lot of fun, even in its more unpleasant moments. It also stars Briana Evigan, which I most definitely approve of.   

Mother's Day is a remake, but it is one of the decent ones. It's nowhere near as intelligent, inventive or original as the film upon which it is based, but then it doesn't take much from that movie other than a few character names, death sequences and a title. It's largely content to go off and do its own thing, which is infinitely preferable to scene-for-scene robbery or cheap imitation. Stack this among such remakes as The Hills Have Eyes and Dawn of the Dead, in that they do justice to their predecessors without completely re-inventing the wheel.   

Happy Mother's Day, mummies! This review is not dedicated to my mother though, because she most definitely would not approve of this movie. She's more of a Walking Dead woman, herself.

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