It baffles me hours after watching “Mother’s Day” as to why director Darren Lynn Bousman’s remake of the 1980 cult classic wasn’t seen fit for theatrical distribution. As a horror film and a thriller it’s a perfectly suitable splatter film for the for the gore soaked masses and a taut suspense film for folks in the mood for a teeth grinding picture that takes place during one night and involves criminals with no place else to go. What Darren Lynn Bousman has done is crafted a chaotic film so off the cuff, it’s basically “The Desperate Hours” with more splatter and less grace behind it. As a whole it’s not the most subtle picture Bousman’s ever done. This is the guy behind “Saw” for godsake.
But for what it offers it’s quite a hellish horror film and one that introduces us to a new mom for the new millennium and one that is to be reckoned with. After a botched heist to save their home from foreclosure, the Koffin family of the original home returns to hide out from the police until they can devise a plan to save their youngest brother who is dying from a gun shot wound. Little do they know there are new residents at the home and they’re taken hostage awaiting the word of the beloved “mother,” a wise matriarch who is all smiles and nothing but a devious package of claws and nails whose own hold on her children is disturbing bordering sometimes on incestuous.
“Mother’s Day” takes the talented Rebecca DeMornay and dials her down in to one of the most devious on-screen villains portrayed in the last five years, a boiling figure of rage and wrath who approaches her victims with a kind heart yet is never afraid to destroy them at a moment’s notice. Around Ms. DeMornay’s Oscar worthy performance (yes, I said Oscar worthy), are a slew of strong supporting performances including Shawn Ashmore as a valiant doctor, Patrick John Flueger as oldest brother Ike, and Jaimie King as the torture house wife Beth who finds a nemesis in mother once she begins clawing at the inept house guests who dare to incur her wrath. But primarily, “Mother’s Day” is the show for Rebecca DeMornay to flex her uncanny ability to convey a multi-layered and truly complex villainous the audience will despise in an instant. Director Bousman’s remake is well worthy of the watch for respecting horror and thriller buffs and it’s one I found absolutely grueling from minute one.