Saw II, III and IV director Darren Lynn Bousman returns to the horror genre with a remake of a Troma “classic” titled Mother’s Day. The film is a mindless mess that piles on mistake after mistake in a hurry. The characters are as dumb as they come and the direction is simple and lacking of any real punch or purpose. Mother’s Day is just another straight-to-video horror flick that’ll impress you with its blood and gore, and sometimes its acting, but when it’s all said and done you’ll be forgetting about it long before the popcorn finishes popping.
What starts out as a fun evening with friends, music and drinks soon turns into a night that everyone involved will never forget. A tornado is approaching, while Beth (Jaime King), her husband Daniel (Frank Grillo) and friends kick back and relax. Frank hears a loud noise upstairs and goes to investigate. What he finds are three grown men, holding guns, that have just been a part of a bank robbery gone wrong. They thought they were going to their abandoned house, but soon realize that the house was sold and now they’ve got to deal with these new “guests”.
They call in Mother (Rebecca De Mornay); a controlling and manipulating mother figure. As soon as she arrives she begins sketching out a plan of how the night should unfold, in which nobody gets hurt, but like most horror films, things don’t go according to plan.
Mother’s Day (2012) sparks an interesting premise, based on an original film of the same name, but unfortunately this remake doesn’t consist of many redeeming qualities. Frequent Saw director Darren Lynn Bousman steps up to the plate to direct the film without any real flavor. It looks like most straight-to-video horror films and it doesn’t feature any sort of tricky camera angles or disoriented storytelling. Everything is laid out perfectly in order and the only thing left to do is watch the pieces as they slowly (and I must emphasize slowly) fall into place.
Blood is spilled and people die, which shouldn’t come as any surprise to fans of the genre. Bousman offs everyone in a predictable manner. I give him credit for mostly sticking with practical gore effects, but there’s nothing all that tricky here besides a few gallons of blood and a prop hand or two.
The acting is about the only thing that’ll make you think twice on if this film ever made it to theaters, because a few of the actors seem to be actually trying. I’m not talking about stars Jaime King or Rebecca De Mornay, who basically overact to the point of laughter. I’m talking about the subtlety by Frank Grillo and Shawn Ashmore. Even the guys that play the demented boys manage to keep things on the proper level of craziness without going too overboard.
My main gripe with the film is the story’s utter lack of surprise. Just when you think Bousman is going to pull the bloody sheets out from under you, he hits you with yet another expected turn. The kills start to stack up, but nothing seems to get accomplished. The ending goes up in flames (literally) and the film wraps up a loose end from the beginning, which again is so damn foreseeable.
I wasn’t expecting to like Mother’s Day all that much, but I didn’t think I’d start to hate it. The more I watched the film the more I began to look at the clock and hope for a quick and painless ending, but that didn’t happen for a good two hours. Even at the hour mark I’d say Mother’s Day more than wears out its welcome.
Anchor Bay brings the film to life with a 1080p video transfer that is robust and the exact kind of grade and quality we’ve come to expect from the studio. The film rarely jumps out at you, but the pleasant colors stay true to the source of the film and hold detail strong, while keeping clarity at a comfortable level.
The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD doesn’t disappoint either. There’s a wide array of noise that comes at you from all of the channels. Dialogue is audible on the front channels, while broken glass, gunshots and music takeover the back.
Mother’s Day only comes with 1 extra and a DVD copy of the film. Here’s a list for those having trouble keeping count:
- Audio Commentary: Director Darren Lynn Bousman and actor Shawn Ashmore deliver a standard commentary that touches up on shooting locations, performances, the script and what you’ve come to expect with most commentaries. I wouldn’t call it a bad track by any means, but like the film it stays pretty close to formula.
- DVD Copy
I absolutely hate it when a movie gets released on Blu-Ray with no real special features, especially something that struggled getting released in the US in the first place. Mother’s Day could have benefited from lengthy behind-the-scenes documentaries or cast and crew interviews. Really, anything at this point would have made the film more interesting, yet the disc is an empty excuse. The video and audio are good, but they don’t make the movie any better.
It all comes down to Darren Lynn Bousman‘s lack of doing anything with the material. It doesn’t feel edgy or risky and it certainly isn’t the most violent movie I’ve seen recently. It’s just another crappy horror film that I probably won’t ever revisit again.
Director Darren Lynn Bousman's Mother's Day is a horror film with many straight-to-video qualities. It's nothing but a trashy mess with over-qualified actors.