On the run after attempting to rob a bank, a group of vicious (and incredibly annoying) brothers decide to lay low at their mother’s house for a while. Unfortunately the mother lost the house and a young couple mourning the loss of their son currently lives there. The group of brothers (one of which has been shot) invade the couple’s house while they are entertaining guests and soon take everyone hostage. The brothers’ twisted mother soon shows up at the house as well, and the body count starts rising. Will any of the hostages make it out alive or are they all destined to die at the hand of the brutal family?
Mother’s Day arrives of the cusp of talked about remakes this last year. Though as I’ve reviewed, appreciated a few, and disliked others…it is apparent that what is actually happening is that the branding is getting remade but not always the original premise. Mother’s Day is one of the lost classics that arrived in the hey day of Troma releases. In fact I distinctly remember the newspaper ad as it played to r-rated audiences. I didn’t catch it in the earlier debut of 1980, but of course caught it in rental years later. I think it actually took a longer period of time to become considered a classic as it was one of those films that folks remember but mostly from it’s intriguing poster art.
I say all this because you cant really pull a known title and call it a remake without drawing on some comparison. Unfortunately for this round this is also where the ball drops.
Mother’s Day (2010) is helmed by director Darren Lynn Bousman who I’m thinking is probably sorry he took the gig?? The film as a standalone is not bad. It’s got Rebecca De Mornay playing Natalie ‘Mother’ Koffin with Jaime King as one of the hapless victims Beth Sohapi. What will ultimately split audiences apart and possibly anger a few is that the movie is only “similar” by name alone. Mothers Day (2010) is not a remake, but a completely different film, different premise and different feel altogether. This should be noted from the get-go which I think will help curb your perspective a bit.
In the original, we have a group of hikers who are assaulted by 2 odd mother-loving boys each with their own deranged peculiarities. They had that odd backwoods persona with one even sporting a mask thru half the film. The comparison is that in both cases, they loved momma and would do anything for her.
Now skip forward to this crime thriller version where the boys have returned home only to find that the house was foreclosed and now under the ownership of some weekend party throwing yuppies. The boys have botched a recent bank robbery and have stopped home to take care of the younger brother who got shot. Though when they arrive and find that home is not “home” they start to terrorize the owners and their obnoxious weekender friends. Mother eventually shows up in the form of Rebecca De Mornay who seems to run a pretty tight ship with keeping the boys in line. The tight relationship is evident as they cry to momma on occasions. Though it’s mother who exerts this subtle vicious evil that transpires as the film evolves.
In retrospect, Rebecca De Mornay and Jaime King do a fantastic job. They really bring their a-game to the table with some pretty emotionally draining performances. Rebecca is believable in her ruthless mother role and King plays a great victim empowered. The original Troma version was more campy, culty, b-film type of stuff. This is probably why it gained a cult following over the years. I never recall stating 1980’s mother’s Day was a must-see, though I do recall stating it is a typical 80’s horror film, and…well maybe on the better side of others released at that time.
In our modern version, what we sign on for falls closer into a “Fatal Attraction” adult style thriller than anything remotely campy or over the top. There are a few scenes that fall into the “oo, that was harsh….that would suck!” sort of delivery. But never to the point of calling this a torture p*rn film either. De Mornay delivers a mean performance but also one that flips between being a caring mother and one of compassion. Maybe a few folks, get killed, get injured or get verbally abused…but hey…that’s what these films do.
Hey though let’s not forget that they also have a sister. Yep Deborah Ann Woll from True Blood plays Lydia Koffin. I wouldn’t say this is her showcase though. It’s clear that King got the high tension role here leaving Woll with a supporting character.
Mother’s Day (2010) is edgy, tense and powerful. It’s really not a remake, or in the same sector of genre but it does have one thing in common. A group of mother-loving boys who listen to what they are told to do.
So in the interest of debuts for the year. I’m calling this one powerful, good and entertaining…but just not a favorite or a must own. If you liked Rebecca De Mornay in “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” , then I believe this is perfect follow-up of character.
Mother’s Day is now available on Bluray per Anchor Bay
Mother’s Day (2010)