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ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Mother's Day (2010)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Darren Bousman

Starring:
Jaime King/Beth
Rebecca De Mornay/Mother
Shawn Ashmore/George
Patrick John Flueger/Ike
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
After a mucked robbery three brothers head back home to find refuge at their hot Momma's (Rebecca De Mornay) house. But when they get there they find a group of strangers kicking it in their basement instead. Yup, momma lost the house, new peeps moved in and the brothers are not happy. And once mommy eventually joins the party..ummm...yeah. “Mama said Knock you out!” BAM!
THE LOWDOWN
I've never pinned down the original Charles Kaufman directed (yup the brother of Troma guru Lloyd Kaufman ) MOTHER'S DAY (1980), so I came into this remake with a clean slate, not knowing what to expect. And at the end of it all I came out owned by this lean, mean, horror machine. It is a statement to the film's effectiveness on me that I saw it at midnight screening, tired beyond belief, and that at the end of it, I came out of there with a hefty, knock them back hard ,second wind. I was feeling good!

MOTHER'S DAY took no time in shoving me in hell. To be frank, the initial rushed manner in which the film unleashed its narrative took me aback at first; I was like “What the f*ck!!!”. But the hooks were dug deep none the less and once I adapted to the furious rhythm of the picture, I was all good. I relished how the film didn't really flesh out its peeps off the bat. I got to know them as the clock ticked forward. They were defined by circumstances and via the tidbits of info that were tossed out here and there. That approach kept me on my toes and I dug that the most. The film's unapologetic mean streak rubbed me the right way as well; I mean this movie got off on making people do VERY BAD things and it rarely shied away from SHOWING the bloody goods that ensued. There's one scene in particular having to do with an ATM machine (all I'll say) that freaking back-handed me like Ike Turner on steroids. And trust me when I spit this; that was one scene out of many. Every time I thought the film couldn't go further with its display of human ugliness, it would..and not in the usual black and white manner either; many of the actions in the films and even the characters were laced in a compelling shade of gray. The good guys had a value system, the bad guys had a value system and at times, I wasn't sure whom to root for being that everybody randomly had valid angles.

Which bring me to the actors in the film, without them, this sucka wouldn't have worked being that its a people driven tale. We got some STAND OUT displays here with Rebecca De Mornay giving the performance of her career. Like seriously, she commanded the screen every time she was on it, I was simply mesmerized. Scary yet sympathetic and still incredibly sexy, De Mornay stole the show at every turn and in a fair world Oscar would knock on her door to say: "Wassup can I kiss your feet? Here's a statue!" I wish she was my Momma... meow! And the same can be yapped about Jaime King who put out an emotionally charged and intense show. She went all out and then some. Huge props! Both these dames rocked it! My other top players would have to be cutie pie Deborah Ann Woll as the timid sister who evoked mucho sympathy out of me, Shawn Ashmore who played it low key and focused and charismatic Brad Pitt dead ringer Patrick Flueger who came across as the more layered and dare I say sane of the brothers. Add to that director Darren Bousman showing further maturity behind the camera (more static shots than Bousman's past work and I loved them titled angles), moments of high tension that had me on the edge of my edge and cool plot twists that ruined me and you get one of the best and most visceral horror films I have seen this year thus far.

On the downside; I felt that some of the characters did trivial moves to serve the plot now and again. Nothing too severe but there's at least one scene that had me yelping in my noggin “Come on guys! Think dammit think and do the smart thing!”. The final mano et mano cat fight also let me down a tad. Don't get me wrong the oomph was there and I was all up in there, involved to the max; but the camera was too shaky for me, I could register only half of what was going down. Finally, I was not 100% sold on the last frames, I saw what the film was going for, I was just not sure that it fully worked...for my sorry ass anyways. On the whole though, MOTHER'S DAY whooped me silly and then some with its talent behind and in front of the camera, its more deep than the norm approach and its big set of bull dog balls. Happy Mother's Day mothertruckers!
GORE
When the film got cracking, man does it got nasty. We get a stab in the neck, stab in the crotch, crushed fingers, a bullet in the head, a blown up head, yucky surgery and more!
T & A
We got bra and panties, but other than that the nips stayed cloaked; kind of surprising if ya think about it (or if I think about it, being that I am such a horn-dog); you would think a film of this ilk would put out the melons and carpet to match its extreme violent nature.
BOTTOM LINE
MOTHER'S DAY came at me hard and ran me over like a horror freight train. The flick just wouldn't stop pummeling the shit out of me and at the end of it, i was a better man for it. Solid acting all around (with De Mornay knocking it out of the park), a grab by the collar pace, an engaging visual style, tension galore and a knack at shoving the boundaries in a coffin and setting it aflame, MOTHER'S DAY was the real deal. Granted, some character moves didn't fare well with me, one fight scene was too shaky for my liking and I'm still on the fence with the cap-off, but on the whole...wow...what a movie! After my screening I noticed something; people loved it or hated it; yup it seems Bousman has another one of those on his hands, like he did with Repo. Hope yall dig it as much as I did! Arrow out!
BULL'S EYE
The screenplay was written by newcomer Scott Milam.

Look out for Final Destination 2 star AJ Cook is a small yet pivotal role.

SAW 3 J. Larose's makes an appearance in the film.
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3:04PM on 05/15/2012

Shame it was straight to DVD...

I completely agree with this review. I've been a HUGE fan of Bousman since Saw III and so far he has not disappointed (although I haven't heard many great things about 11-11-11). Now I've been waiting to see Mother's Day for a VERY long time. I was extremely disappointed (as I know Bousman was too) when I found out it was getting the Straight To DVD treatment. I just watched it today and I completely loved it.

I appreciated how it just threw you into the story without fleshing the characters
I completely agree with this review. I've been a HUGE fan of Bousman since Saw III and so far he has not disappointed (although I haven't heard many great things about 11-11-11). Now I've been waiting to see Mother's Day for a VERY long time. I was extremely disappointed (as I know Bousman was too) when I found out it was getting the Straight To DVD treatment. I just watched it today and I completely loved it.

I appreciated how it just threw you into the story without fleshing the characters out really. I loved how you found out little by little the characters motives and backstories. Although I did feel that some were still in need of a little fleshing out. The violence and situations were all kinds of fucked up and I loved it. I'd have to say my favorite was the one regarding the ATM machine.

The acting was top-notch as well. Agreed, this movie was character driven and without the bunch of actors they had, it wouldn't have worked. Mornay's performance was PHENOMENAL. She was so many different things and she somehow managed to fit them all into one and it never felt off-balanced. Agreed, I was simply mesmerized. Bousman didn't disappoint either. I feel that this is his most mature offering to date. He hasn't failed me yet.

So overall, I loved every second of this movie, but I do have some tiny complaints that came in towards the end. Regarding the shaky cam during the "catfight" at the end, it didn't bother me TOO badly, but it could've been handled a little better. Also, I felt that too many characters started to die during the final 10-15 minutes or so. At least two characters died and right when they did I was like "Wait, why?". It seemed like they got killed off just for the hell of it. And also, the one thing that really bothered me was the cap-off/aftermath in the final scene. Agreed, I saw what they were goin for... but I just didn't feel it. For one, it seemed extremely rushed, but secondly, it just didn't fit with the rest of the movie and it left me asking more questions with no answers. The movie didn't need it.

So overall, besides some questionable choices regarding the last couple minutes, Mother's Day is phenomenal. The acting is excellent (with Mornay totally stealing the show), the directing is superb, the violence and brutality is there, and the script had me on my toes. An excellent horror flick which doesn't deserve the Straight To DVD treatment it received. Check it out!
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+0
2:55PM on 10/28/2011

Sorry, I disagree with every word.

Everything Mother's Day thinks it has to say has been said many times before and better. Yes, it's surprisingly easy to make people do terrible things. Yes, friends or family can turn on each other. I got it the first time, yet the film continually hammers the same point home in many (too many) overblown set pieces. Not once was I horrified or shocked; only surprised once when a character did something for unselfish reasons. It didn't floor me because it telegraphed all its punches. I don't
Everything Mother's Day thinks it has to say has been said many times before and better. Yes, it's surprisingly easy to make people do terrible things. Yes, friends or family can turn on each other. I got it the first time, yet the film continually hammers the same point home in many (too many) overblown set pieces. Not once was I horrified or shocked; only surprised once when a character did something for unselfish reasons. It didn't floor me because it telegraphed all its punches. I don't mind a film being relentlessly cynical, but I do mind it being so unsubtle and contrived.

Mr. Bousman took a good film (Saw) and turned it into a shitty franchise; now he continues in his quest to put me off horror. His complete lack of subtlety and weirdly exaggerated ideas about how people behave would be perfect for giallo, but don't serve him well here.
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12:55AM on 05/11/2011
Loved this movie, it definitely made my night! Movies like this are the reason I go on living.
Loved this movie, it definitely made my night! Movies like this are the reason I go on living.
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10:03AM on 05/09/2011

@FrogSimmons2

Yup slapped it back up for Mother's Day.
Yup slapped it back up for Mother's Day.
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+0
12:57PM on 05/08/2011

Couldn't agree more (possible spoiler included)

wow i dont think ive ever read a review by anyone and agreed word for word or point for point. I usually only partially agree. I randomly got the opportunity to watch this last night and reading this review I can honestly say i couldn't disagree with a single point, especially regarding the characters, the finale and the cap off. While this would have been a nice one off movie, If anything i'd actually like a sequel to follow on and resolve that issue as without spoiling it could be a good set
wow i dont think ive ever read a review by anyone and agreed word for word or point for point. I usually only partially agree. I randomly got the opportunity to watch this last night and reading this review I can honestly say i couldn't disagree with a single point, especially regarding the characters, the finale and the cap off. While this would have been a nice one off movie, If anything i'd actually like a sequel to follow on and resolve that issue as without spoiling it could be a good set up for continuing the story. I'd definatly like the same writer and same director to be involved. Like Arrow I've never seen the original but from all accounts it seems to have been a remake thats executed just right. And damn if I haven't missed Rebecca De Mornay! I did get a throw back to Hand that rocks the cradle in the big fight at the end with her dialogue which i really enjoyed also.
I can see this movie being in my top ten at the end of the year.
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12:45PM on 05/08/2011
or maybe i'm just retarded and you posted it because today's mother's day. ha ha ha.
or maybe i'm just retarded and you posted it because today's mother's day. ha ha ha.
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4:51PM on 05/07/2011
hey arrow- just wondering. this is the 3rd time now i've seen this review posted as a new listing/news. is the film company just asking you to bump it as a PR mechanism?
hey arrow- just wondering. this is the 3rd time now i've seen this review posted as a new listing/news. is the film company just asking you to bump it as a PR mechanism?
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2:26PM on 05/07/2011

good but not great

double post - i'm a tard
double post - i'm a tard
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2:25PM on 05/07/2011

good but not great

Good acting and well made but it felt atleast 20 minutes too long - also suffered from Bousman bringing over a couple of 'Saw-isms' (one of you must kill the other etc) which got on my tits
Good acting and well made but it felt atleast 20 minutes too long - also suffered from Bousman bringing over a couple of 'Saw-isms' (one of you must kill the other etc) which got on my tits
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1:39PM on 05/02/2011
So far my top film of 2011. The movie was intense, scary, and suspenseful as fuck! The characters were likable, layered, and as the film went on they became more developed. We don't know too much about their lives, but we learn about them through their actions. These are real people. They're friends, but they will backstab and betray to save themselves. The villains were also layered and came off as real people. They were a loving family and I actually found them quite sympathetic.
So far my top film of 2011. The movie was intense, scary, and suspenseful as fuck! The characters were likable, layered, and as the film went on they became more developed. We don't know too much about their lives, but we learn about them through their actions. These are real people. They're friends, but they will backstab and betray to save themselves. The villains were also layered and came off as real people. They were a loving family and I actually found them quite sympathetic. Rebecca De Mornay gave an oscar-worthy performance and blew me away. The violence was gritty and real and the directing was superb. I was always there in the film; I never knew what was going to happen next. The beautiful score pulled me in even more and even though the too-shaky finale came in I was still in it. My sole peeve would probably be I wasn't a fan of the final scene. I appreciated what they were going for, I just don't feel it was needed. After watching it a second time, the ending scene left a worst taste in my mouth.
Overall a brilliant and terrifying horror film with standout acting.
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8:05PM on 09/27/2010

Wow good idea

While I have not see the new one yet, the original is one that had a good premise but was flawed and could work as a remake. The original was kind of like a Troma version of Last House On The Left with (only more serious than the typical Troma movie). I wonder if Lloyd and Charles had anything to do with it.
While I have not see the new one yet, the original is one that had a good premise but was flawed and could work as a remake. The original was kind of like a Troma version of Last House On The Left with (only more serious than the typical Troma movie). I wonder if Lloyd and Charles had anything to do with it.
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