Starring Rebecca De Mornay(!), Mother’s Day is the unnecessary remake of the 1980 film of the same title. Three brothers are on the run from a bank robbery in which one has been shot turn up, believing it to be their mother’s house although unbeknownst to them, it was lost in a foreclosure. Coincidentally, the new owners are having a birthday party which is about to turn sour- even more so when ‘Mother’ is summoned and discovers that money sent by the brothers is missing, and she wants to know who.
Thrillers are meant to be thrilling, it’s rather self-explanatory. They shouldn’t be an exercise into how much unpleasantness can be strung out for nearly 2 hours (and it truly feels that long), until it degenerates into something resembling the SAW franchise, only with a little more tact. It therefore comes as no big shock that the director, Darren Lynn Bousman has directed 3 of the SAW films.
The cast do a decent enough job, although Warren Kole as Addley Koffin, one of the brothers, threatens to become a bit too cartoony with his mad-eyed impulsions and threats to ‘plug’ the hostages, the show obviously belongs to De Mornay. As the all empowering ‘Mother’, she blends the affront of tenderness and style with the undercurrents of menace and threat well, knowing when to turn it on and when to take a step back. It’s just hard to appreciate a character which is as unnerving as hers when she’s say, conducting and taking a hands-on approach of the attempted rape of a hostage named Annette (Briana Evigan) or forcing two friends to beat each other to a pulp.
The main issue to take from Mother’s Day is that less is more. Whilst moments of extreme violence can be used effectively to punctuate a certain film (the attacks in a film like A Clockwork Orange are used to highlight just how far the Droogs will sink), when they are overloaded from the get-go the reaction won’t be fear, but repulsion or boredom, and whilst Mother’s Day provides glimpses of what could be a thriller with unease and style, it unfortunately drowns under its own filth.