Some may not realize this, but “Mother’s Day” was a Troma release before it was a Darren Lynn Bousman title. His was actually a remake, even if the relation isn’t exactly mother / son at best. But our friends at Anchor Bay sent out a copy for us to review, and this one is a downright unapologetic doozy.
“Mother’s Day” follows something of an unconventional family, featuring a pair of men who are essentially boys, and their loving mother, a sociopathic monster of a woman who delights in murder. Her man-boy children, meanwhile, are only too happy to provide their loving mother with the things in which Mother delights, and therefore engage in murder, torture, and other terrible behaviors on a regular basis. But a couple of Mother’s newest victims, a group of three old college friends out for a reunion / camping trip, are going to pose a great deal of unexpected trouble for Mother…and her brood alike.
This was actually something of an interesting moment for me. I hadn’t actually seen “Mother’s Day” in better than a decade, so getting back to this one was kind of like going home. I remembered this being a much nastier affair, but it still does nicely as a prototypical example of torture porn.
The second half is going to be a lot worse than the first half, and they’re going to do a pretty decent job of setting up exactly why this whole family needs to die, but still…even with the impressive last 15 minutes of the movie, in which our victims arrange a set of very nasty surprises for the backwoods psychopaths, it’s still not the best way to go out. Even while you’re left to recover from the inherent moral debate of the villains’ messy and largely inevitable deaths, you’re then left to deal with a twist ending that features a briefly mentioned plot point that just sort of shows up at the last possible second and isn’t resolved in any meaningful way.
It’s not quite the vicious ride I remember–15 years or more of horror film has dulled ”Mother’s Day”‘s edge somewhat–but it’s still the sad, vaguely disturbing look at the worst elements of humanity that it ever was. Worse, it’s not even that entertaining. A slipshod mess that spends way too much time showing us just why the villains probably should be turned into kibble for the good of humanity, “Mother’s Day” just can’t deliver, and leaves Darren Bousman in the unexpected–and somewhat unenviable–rare position of having made a remake that’s incrementally better than its progenitor.