I was on the fence as to whether actually go and see this film, my first thought was “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” (1992) meets predictably boring horror remake and matters weren’t helped after seeing Brad Jones’s (aka, the Cinema Snob) review of the original along with Matthew Buck’s (aka, Film Brain) review of this version on the That Guy with the Glasses site which left me very sceptical. I hadn’t planned to bother seeing this but due to it being part of the Arts Centre Horror night I decided “yeah why not” and I was pleasantly surprised. I simply enjoyed this film because it wasn’t trying too hard to be frightening or shocking for the sake of it and it used its humour very well…
I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much in a horror film literally from beginning to end, the lines were delivered at the perfect moments my personal favourite being “I don’t like disco”; I suppose it’s weird to depict this film as “funny” and “comedic” but that is honestly how I felt about it. Rebecca De Mornay’s performance as Mrs Koffin (The Mother) was utterly brilliant and yes it did feel a little recycled to an extent as she seemed to be playing the same psychotic character as “the Nanny from hell” in “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” nearly 20 years ago but I do think she was perfect casting and played the role well giving both a sense of edge and humour; all the son’s performances were also hilarious.
I’m unsure whether it’s a good or bad thing but I found there was no character developments of the hostages, they are introduced to the audience and barely into the film we’re thrown into the action so I didn’t really care about them or what happened to them; I would say in terms of story and writing it’s a bad thing as character motivation and development is vital but a good thing also within the film as I could laugh at and enjoy all the twisted things that were happening to them, I also liked that they were all just as flawed as the villains. There were however too many hostages so that was a little distracting, making it all a bit convoluted as there were too many characters to focus on.
I was pleased that this film used its violence subtly, I was expecting some crazy “torture porn” and over the top gore and I’m glad the film didn’t deliver that and didn’t try to sell itself purely on sex or nudity and only toyed with those ideas, it really made the film more refreshing in comparison to the recent remakes that perhaps take themselves too seriously such as “I Spit on your Grave” (2010) and “The Last House on the Left” (2009). The ending was a bit disappointing but I’m glad the film-makers were daring enough to be different and not go with the obvious audience expectation. I honestly feel like I’m describing a comedy here but the film for me was a fun horror and I would recommend watching it with a group of friends as it’s more of a laugh with a good atmosphere. Yes “Mother’s Day” (2010) (dir. Darren Lynn Bousman) is flawed and silly but I really did enjoy it. Now remember kids: “Don’t miss behave” ;