M.O.M. (Mothers of Monsters) (2020)

A woman fearing her son may be a psychopath with sinister plans hides cameras around their house and records herself talking about her son, her thoughts, and her fears. Eventually, things take a turn for the worse and things start changing.

Written and directed by Tucia Lyman, this found footage movie approaches the subject of a mom believing her son may be a psychopath from the mother’s point of view and how she deals with her suspicions, right or wrong, to get to the bottom of things. Her struggle feels rather real in how it’s written and brought to the screen. However, things feel like they take forever. While taking a while to establish things is necessary here, there are some sections of the film that just feel a bit too long. Being that this is supposed to be found footage as shot by the mother, it may be done on purpose to establish a mood or a feel for how the mother is going through everything and feeling about her own endeavor.

Playing this mother is Melinda Page Hamilton who gives the distraught mother a believability that works great here. Her work is appropriately emotional and there are some levels to her emotions as she gives good nuances when needed. The reality she gives her character of Abbey works for the film and the fact that she is not immediately recognizable to the average film viewer, she is more of a television actress, helps establish the found footage reality to the film. Also not immediately recognizable is Bailey Edwards as her son, Jacob, having been in a random few titles and playing creatures like elves before. His work is also quite good and he gives the back and forth between good and potentially evil an ease that gives his character a good arc and some very interesting scenes. Together, Hamilton and Edwards make for a good mother and son duo on screen with some interesting chemistry that sells the story and their characters well. The one actor that breaks the reality of the found footage is Edward Asner as Dr. Howard Arden, Asner is a very recognizable face and will yank some right out of the created reality of the film. That being said, Asner does great work as usual and can bring any viewer right back in after the recognition happens and get everything going as it were again. Other than these three, a few other people have small parts, but most of them get a couple of lines at the most, so their acting looks good from what is available in the film.

The cinematography by Matt Paulsen works with the found footage style and even offers the viewers a better alternative to most found footage films having cameras be stationary in most scenes, giving the usually headache-giving style a break and making it so much easier to concentrate on what is going on in the film. Giving the characters stationary cameras helps make this a film that is watchable for more than just found footage aficionados. His work here is something many will be very thankful for.

M.O.M. Mothers of Monsters is a good found footage film in that it’s shot in a manner that doesn’t distract from the story while remaining a found footage film, it uses lesser known faces to movie audiences for the leads, and it brings a story that is interesting in and of itself. Did it need to be a found footage film? Absolutely not. Could it have had a shorter run time? Absolutely. However, the overall effect of the story and the film work here in that it brings to the screen a narrative from the point of view of mom who may have raised a psychopath. It brings this and a lot of questions about nature versus nurture as well as about how much can a mother’s love really do to save a child who doesn’t want or believe they need saving. The work by Hamilton and Edwards is pretty much perfect for that. This is a film that will be of great interest to some and absolutely none to others, but if a new take on the mother and child relationships between a mom and a potentially murderous child is something of interest, then checking out M.O.M. Mothers of Monsters should satisfy.