Runtime: 112 minutes
Release Date: May 4, 2012
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
“Mother's Day” starts off with a woman in a nurse's outfit sneaking into a hospital. After a security guard sees her leaving with a baby, he gives chase, only to wind up dead with a knife stuck in his chest.
The movie then jumps to the present day. Beth (Jaime King, “Silent Night”) is crying in the bathroom when her husband Daniel (Frank Grillo, “The Grey”) knocks on the door. The couple are in the midst of a birthday celebration attended by most of their friends. There's Annette (Briana Evigan, “Sorority Row”), the slightly slutty girl who does a provocative dance before laughing with her toupee-wearing boyfriend; George (Shawn Ashmore, “Frozen”), a doctor who is there with his girlfriend Melissa (Jessie Rusu, “Saw VI”); and Julie's best friend Gina (Kandyse McClure, “Children of the Corn”) who is there with her boyfriend Treshawn (Lyriq Bent, “Saw II”). Plus, one girl, Julie is there on her own.
While partying downstairs in the cellar and watching footage on television of a tornado on its way to their area, a group of bank robbers are on the run. Ike (Patrick John Flueger) bursts through the unlocked front door and dumps his little brother Johnny (Matt O'Leary) on the couch. After talking to his brother Addley (Warren Kole), he makes a phone call to his sister Lydia, letting her know that she and Mother need to get there. Mother (Rebecca De Mornay) arrives to help her sons clean up their mess.
It turns out that Mother and her children once lived in the house, but after failing to pay her mortgage, the bank took back the house. Beth, who works as a real estate agent, managed to buy the house with Daniel before it went to auction. Ike tells Mother that he frequently sent money home, but both deny that any money ever arrived. Mother naturally believes Beth, but thinks that Daniel is a liar-liar-pants-on-fire. She decides to treat the hostages in the house like she does her own family...to a point.
I have never seen the original “Mother's Day,” but from what I've heard, this is a remake in name only. That doesn't really bother me, but what did bother me was the long runtime. At just under two hours, this is easily one of the longest horror movies I have seen recently. The first part of the film was interesting and the end was good, but the middle dragged so much that I found myself constantly checking the time remaining.
There were so many things in the middle of the film that didn't need showing. One of the friends winds up with a gunshot and the robbers leave her for dead, which leads to several scenes of her in the ambulance, arriving at the hospital, minor surgery, etc., before she finally warns them to send help to the house. The film also continually reminds us that there's a tornado coming without any payoff. Granted they use that to explain why police are on the street, but would it really be surprising to see one officer (specifically, ONE officer) driving around? Especially since they know the robbers are loose and once lived in the house?
But, let's skip over that and get to the good stuff. I know I haven't done the best deaths thing in awhile, which is sad given the name of this blog, so let's do it here. The best death comes when a man gets multiple nailgun shots to the head, his mouth filled with powder cleaner, and a television set dropped on his head. There are also a few surprising kills that pop up when someone gets loose with a gun.
I probably haven't mentioned it before, but I am not a fan of potential rape scenes, and those happen pretty often in this one. Mother decides to give one of the women to her dying son because he doesn't want to die a virgin, another son threatens to rape one girl while bending her over a pool table, etc. Those scenes almost made me want to throw something at the television.
Speaking of throwing things...I wanted to do that pretty often in “Mother's Day.” It was the type of film that had me literally yelling at the scream, especially towards the end. Let's just say that if someone kills the person that I love, I'm not going to act like the nice little girl and does whatever he says.
“Mother's Day” has some flaws (why do people keep casting King in horror films?), but it was still a solid little movie. De Mornay is the perfect mixture of terrorizing woman and innocent mother, and I can't believe I kept skipping over it in the rental store.