Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mother of Tears (2007)

Expectation was only exceeded by disappointment in this bookend to the Three Mothers trilogy originated in Dario Argento's Suspiria. Started over two decades earlier and in an entirely different era of filmmaking, it seemed inevitable that this film would have difficulty recapturing the look and feel of its predecessors. Gone is the unnatural coloring borrowed liberally from Bava, having been replaced by a bland color palette set in earthly tones. Gone is the constant sense of tension and danger set by a steady stream of unnerving imagery. Though the film has a distinct look and feel unto itself, it still manages to pull together a similar theme, with the descendant of a white witch discovering the truth of another powerful mother witch causing the recent rash of disaster and murder plaguing Rome. Argento brings the gore, so there is certainly no lack of brutal violence and gallons of blood, but the deaths just do not retain the sickening beauty of the first two entries. Much of the acting is overlooked or forgiven since it is dubbed, but in reality it isnt very good. Argento's daughter Asia is overused, and does not bring the level of empathy and intrigue as her counterparts. The film unfortunately falls under much harsher criticism since it comes from the master of horror, and despite the negative remarks above, The Third Mother is still better than the average horror film. It just does not live up to Argento's stellar track record, and is a significant step down from the horror perfection achieved in Suspiria.

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 8/10.



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7 comments:

  1. It's nowhere near the calibur of "Suspiria" or "Inferno" but I enjoyed it for what it was.

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  2. I really liked "MoT" myself. It was brutal, in-your-face and strange. It made no excuses and just did what it wanted to.

    Is it "Suspiria?" No. If they wanted it to be "Suspiria," they would have called it so.

    I should also point out that I like "Inferno" less as a whole than "Mother." The imagery is great, but the story is not told clearly enough for me. I get "Suspiria" and "Mother," but not quite this movie. It's not terrible by any means, but it's not the same calibur.

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  3. I would have to agree fully to the Inferno comparison, I would rate Inferno and MoT about the same though at an 8, I just prefer the surrealism of the first two films over the newest installment. MoT just felt like too much build for too little payoff, especially as the final chapter in the series. At times, I felt the storyline was an excuse for the gore, which killed me. Suspiria had me captivated every second, and I was emotionally tied to the protagonist and plot. Inferno I like as a non-linear addition to Suspiria, since it almost feels more dreamlike in the sense that there is no sense.

    Very happy to see that you guys enjoyed it though, I liked the film but maybe the 3rd viewing will generate more interest for me. The first time I saw it was in Italian with no subs, this was my first time being able to comprehend the story (I had to convinced myself it was more like Inferno in the first watch through)

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  4. Hmmm. I have to wonder if Argento can really be considered a master of horror anymore (or maestro if you prefer). I love the best of his stuff, but I must say I've seen more bad than good films by Argento, especially recently. I'll probably be killed for saying this, but just a thought. And believe me I absoultely love some of his work; Suspiria and Deep Red are some of my favorite films.

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  5. Look at Craven's complete spectrum of work or Tobe Hoopers recent stuff and it would be easy to make the same claim about any of the greats. None of our favorite directors are infallible, and though Argento's films have taken a dive overall, his complete body of work is exemplary of the genre. Im not a huge fan of anything he did post-80s, but I did love Jenifer and thought Pelts brought the gore.

    I wont chastise you for the comment at all, completely valid thought! I consider Argento to rank very highly in the genre, and if he couldnt be considered a master, no one could =D

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  6. I LOVED THIS MOVIE, ALWAYS WILL BE AN ARGENTO FAN. I DON'T KNOW WHY PEOPLE PUT THIS MOVIE DOWN, IT WAS NICE AND GORY AND HAD CLASSIC ARGENTO WRITTEN ALL OVER IT.

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  7. Mother of Tears, Is a mess & a bad film. Not Argento only mess, Few others in the 90's & after.

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