Wednesday 26 April 2017

REVIEWS: 'Mother's Day' by Paul Whittington

Rebecca De Mornay stars in this orgy of violence
Rebecca De Mornay stars in this orgy of violence

Paul Whitington

Some of you will have fond memories of the schlocky straight-to-video horror films that enjoyed a kind of golden age in the 80s.

If Mother's Day feels like one of those it's hardly surprising: it's a remake of Charles Kaufman's 'classic' 1980 chiller of the same name, and it stars Rebecca De Mornay, the doyenne of straight-to-video land.

The film's motto seems to be that house buyers should thoroughly investigate a property's previous owners before committing to a purchase.

But Daniel and Beth Sohapi (Frank Grillo and Jaime King) didn't do that, and during the course of a long and gory night they are given good cause to regret it.

They're rather smugly showing off the basement games room of their lovingly refurbished new house to four of their equally self-satisfied friends when they hear ominous sounds above.

Three armed men have broken in, fresh from a daring bank robbery that has made the TV news. These are the Koffin brothers, an unhinged trio of sibling tearaways whose psychotic tendencies soon become evident.

Things get even worse when Ma Koffin (De Mornay) shows up, and explains to the Sohapis that they have stolen the Koffin family home, lost in a recent foreclosure.

Its premise established, the film settles down to an orgy of gratuitous unpleasantness. When I tell you that director Darren Lynn Bousman's previous credits include several of the Saw films, you'll have some idea of the kind of artiste you're dealing with, and a baby-snatching backstory only briefly distracts from an orgy of nihilistic violence.

Shot, stabbed, half-raped and set on fire, the Sohapis and their friends are soon wryly musing that it might have been a better plan to go out for the evening.

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