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John’s Horror Corner: Mother’s Day (2012)

August 15, 2012

MY CALL:  I’m gonna’ go out on a limb here and say maaaybe you shouldn’t sit down with mom to watch this on Mother’s Day.  But you should watch it!  This home invasion flick yields more action than one could have ever imagined given the premise; more than Hostage (2005), The Strangers (2008) or The Perfect Host (2010).  Not only that, but the action often involves chicks doing hardcore tough physical things under believable circumstances including a surprisingly long fight scene with 51-year old Rebecca De Mornay!  Predictable but good.  [B]  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCH:  Tough to say.  I’d go with The Perfect Host (2010), which also features a criminal-crashed house party gone horribly wrong with some gritty and unexpected scenes.

The Koffin family is a mean one.  When a bank job goes wrong, the three Koffin boys flee to what was their mother’s home.  Only, the house was foreclosed and the new owners are having a friendly gathering when the Koffin boys bust in, panicked, and one (Johnny Koffin) is seriously injured.  Daniel and Beth are the hosting couple and they have six guests.

The brothers call mother and when she arrives we learn that she is a loving, civil, polite sociopath who provided her boys with their criminal skill set.  We not only learn that, but that stolen money that the boys were sending mother from previous jobs clearly never made it to her…but the new owners don’t seem to know anything about it.

As this story of domestic attrition progresses, tension increases on many levels.  As Johnny Koffin’s injury advances Mother Koffin becomes less intolerant and her boys more temperamental.  While on a “field trip” with one of the Koffin’s Beth has difficulty finding enough money to meet their demands.  The party guests are pit against one another under plausible circumstances—and the guests find reasons to turn against each other on their own and it’s not handled politely.  George (Shawn Ashmore) gets caught revealing Mother Koffin’s manipulations to Lydia, who gradually finds George’s claims more credible.  And Mother Koffin finds it ever less plausible that the party hosts don’t know anything about the money as she discovers Daniel’s capacity for lying.

The brutality in this film is immediate!  Johnny Koffin’s horrible wound is tended, bones are gruelingly crushed, and chunks of flesh palatably slap about.

The players include the hosting couple is Daniel (Frank Grillo; Warrior (2011), The Grey (2012)) and Beth (Scream Queen Jaime King; Silent Night (2012), My Bloody Valentine (2009)).  Beth is credibly horrified, serially fragile, and occasionally strong.  Their house guests include Shawn Ashmore (the X-Men trilogy (2000-2006)), Scream Queen Briana Evigan  (The Devil’s Carnival (2012), Sorority Row (2009), S. Darko (2009)) as a refined punkster, Scream Queen Kandyse McClure (Children of the Corn (2009), Carrie (2002)), and Scream Queen Jessie Rusu (The Tortured (2010), Saw VI (2009)).

Mother Koffin (Scream Queen Rebecca De Mornay; Apartment 1303 3D (2012), Identity (2003)) is cold, calculating, and evidently went to charm school.  She won’t steal an engagement ring that was a family heirloom, but she won’t flinch as horrible physical deeds are conducted before their eyes.  But she is not without her own frailty when it comes to seeing her family safely moved from harm’s way.

Her boys are brutal but fearful.  The submissive Lydia Koffin (Scream Queen Deborah Ann Woll; True Blood (2008-2012)) takes orders without questions.  She seems sweet and out of place, but her obedience is apparent.

In the end, the friends attempt to look past their newfound hostilities to work together and escape.  But have they been through too much sick shit for that little dream to come true?  Could the Koffins simply that little encountered evil that always seems to win?

You’ll have to watch to find out and I do consider it worth the watch.

A remake of Charlie Kaufman’s Troma film classic Mother’s Day (1980), this film was undertaken by gore-seasoned director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II-IV, Repo! The Genetic Opera).  I am rather shocked that a Troma film has been the subject of a remake—I am unaware of this ever happening before.  Anyway, this flick features several Scream Queens among a nice cast and some uncommon scenarios.

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  1. John’s Horror Corner: The Devil’s Carnival (2012) « Movies, Films & Flix
  2. The Scream Queens of Film: Briana Evigan « Movies, Films & Flix
  3. The Scream Queens of Film [index] « Movies, Films & Flix
  4. John’s Horror Corner [INDEX] | Movies, Films & Flix
  5. The Day (2011), when big risks, low budgets and strong female leads produce greatness! | Movies, Films & Flix
  6. John’s Horror Corner: Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell (2001), worse than the previous two evil genie movies, but still stretching a low gory budget for the fans | Movies, Films & Flix
  7. Mine Games (2012), a B-movie that surely makes an effort premise-wise, but whose director really never transcends it above B-moviedom | Movies, Films & Flix
  8. John’s Horror Corner: The Purge: Anarchy (2014), basically proving that Frank Grillo can even be a successful badass in a terrible sequel. | Movies, Films & Flix
  9. John’s Horror Corner: Demonic (2015), more paranormal investigators getting in over their heads, as usual. | Movies, Films & Flix
  10. John’s Horror Corner: Saw II (2005), more brutal, more death traps, more ominous tapes, more Jigsaw! | Movies, Films & Flix
  11. John’s Horror Corner: Saw III (2006), proving that torture porn sequels can have good writing AND loads of lingering, gross, chunky gore! | Movies, Films & Flix
  12. John’s Horror Corner: Saw IV (2007), very ambitious story with lackluster execution and so-so death traps—my least favorite of the franchise so far. | Movies, Films & Flix
  13. John’s Horror Corner: Saw V (2008), just okay—I miss Leigh Whannell and characters that matter. | Movies, Films & Flix
  14. John’s Horror Corner: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), a worthy remake bringing new levels of meanness to the franchise. | Movies, Films & Flix

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