Starring: Rebecca De Mornay, Jamie King, Shawn Ashmore
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
The release date on IMDB says 2010 for this film but we’re just now getting it on Blu-Ray. There was a little bit of buzz around this film during its production because you had the creator of the Saw franchise taking on a remake of one of the truly most nihilistic films ever made. Surely the man that was behind all of those bloody traps in Saw would have the wherewithal to truly bring us something horrific. Mother’s Day seemed like a film that was ripe for a remake from my standpoint. I prefer to see bad films that had the spark of something great get remade and see that spark cultivated rather than see a great film tarnished with a subpar remake. If it’s possible, the original Mother’s Day has been tarnished.
The original film followed the exploits of a mother and her inbreed sons as they drug unsuspecting campers into their horrific world simply for the pleasure of the mother. Girls that the brothers caught were treated as literal playthings and the boys would play with their toys as their mother directed. The film was cheap and the execution of much of it is fairly basic but it all played together into something that was truly disturbing at the time of its release. The film was made by the brother of Lloyd Kauffman (owner of Troma films) and it worked better than any of his brother’s projects.
This remake is connected with the film in name only, well other than one little wink at the audience. In this film the brothers have been separated from their mother and after a botched robbery they have to go into hiding. They head home only to learn that their mother has sold their house and she is in an RV with their sister. The new occupants are a group of young people who the brothers have now taken hostage. Eventually the mother and sister regroup with the brothers at the house and they set out to concoct a plan to assemble enough money to get out of the country.
In the meantime the family torments their hostages and forces one of them that happens to be a doctor to help a wounded brother. It sounds weird to type this but the torture in the film wasn’t meaningful enough. It feels placed in the film at extremely random points just to try and make the film feel edgy. At its heart this film is no more than a simple by the numbers suspense drama with a couple of ok actors delivering bland and uninspired dialogue. The mother sometimes seems to take no pleasure in the torture and then suddenly she kind of does seem to like it. Nothing makes sense, and not in that these people are crazy kind of way. It falls flat due to weak writing and execution and no amount of “these people are crazy” works in this case. It did work however in the original film. At least in that film the villains had a singular vision and purpose, even if it was all gross.
The widescreen HD presentation has that low budget indie look to it probably due to tighter budget and the claustrophobic sets but at the same time the presentation is clean and the colors are quite well represented on the disc. The image does get a little murky outside in the dark but not to a terrible degree. Overall it’s a good enough looking film.
The studio is a fairly basic presentation with surrounds getting some time but dialogue often coming off just a little soft in places. You’ll ride the remote a little with this one, just a little.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The film is packaged in a standard slim blu-ray case with De Mornay larger on the cover and the others leads listed. It’s not inspiring, much like the film.
A feature audio commentary is a must for most films. It offers up the deep behind the scenes information from those closest to the film. It makes a great companion to the featurettes. Wait, it makes a great companion. Well, there aren’t any featurettes or anything else really, just the commentary. While it’s a good listen some interviews and behind the scenes footage were required to round this presentation out.
Mother’s Day isn’t just a poor excuse for a remake it’s a poor excuse for a movie. Mother is definitely not pleased….
Overall (Not an Average) 3/10
The Movie 3/10
The Video 7/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 3/10
Overall (Not an Average) 3/10