Review: Mother's Day (Blu-ray)

Anchor Bay dusts Darren Lynn Bousman's modern & loose remake of Troma's Mother's Day off the shelf with a long awaited Blu-ray release.

  • Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
  • Starring: Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, Shawn Ashmore
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 112 Minutes
  • Company: Anchor Bay
  • Format: Blu-ray + DVD Combo
  • Discs:  BD: 1 - 25G / DVD: 1
  • Video: 2.40:1 - 1080p - AVC
  • Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Region: A
  • Released: 5/8/2012

The amount of remakes being churned out this day and age is staggering. A good majority of the classic's (Halloween, Friday The 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - basically everything Platinum Dunes has been involved with) have been given modern updates - with more currently in the process of being released. Hollywood has even shamelessly stooped to redoing lesser known but cult loved films (Fright Night, Prom Night, The Stepfather, a hell of a lot more etc.) that weren't financially successful back in their day. As it's said, anything to make a quick buck.
Not all is lost though since an upcoming remake, no matter what genre usually has it's inadvertent benefits. It revives interest in the original amongst audiences and more often than not makes them seek it out. I'd say most rewarding for fans like us is the original receives some sort of special edition DVD/Blu-ray upgrade leading us to enjoy it even more from the comfort of our home, so in that regard I welcome remakes.
I won't argue that many remakes are uninspiring, frame-by-frame recreation cash grabs but there are quite a few I enjoy on their own merits and in some cases, more so than the original. Mother's Day thankfully doesn't fall in the former category. An extremely loose and mostly in name only redux of Troma's 1980 Mother's Day, which is backwoods set exploitation-horror where Darren Lynn Bousman's (Saw II - IV, Repo! The Genetic Opera) take is a straight faced, home invasion thriller. While it's by no means a radically different take on the genre, Mother's Day is a well acted and directed re-imagining that's par for the course.
We're quickly introduced to a group of adults enjoying a weekend get-together at Beth (Jaime King, My Bloody Valentine 3D) & Daniel's (Frank Grillo, The Grey) new home, which is short lived after on-the-run criminal brothers (Patrick Flueger, Warren Kole, Matt O'Leary) burst in and take the partygoers captive. Soon after, the brothers sweet at sight but very angry mother (Rebecca De Mornay, The Hand That Rocks The Cradle) arrives, beginning a series of brutal duels and vicious interrogations to flesh out a secret amongst Beth and her friends.
By all means I think this is Darren Bousman's best professional film and I'm actually very surprised this was shafted by it's releasing company (this film was shot in 2009!). It's sharply shot (a little too glossy for my taste), sports an impressive cast, is engaging and quite brutal. Rebecca De Mornay alone makes this film worth seeing as the sinisterly sympathetic but manipulatively evil titular Mother. It's a bit of head shaker that this film uses the Mother's Day moniker but we know the reasoning for that. I'd say come for talent involved and stay for the excellent performances from the various actors. There are much better films out there with this formula but Mother's Day is definitely a notable outing.

  • Video
Not having the chance to see this in theaters due to it's releasing snafu, Anchor Bay's Blu-ray of Mother's Day looks by all technical means quite sharp at home. With that said nothing truly bursts out off your screen, it's a more mild mannered HD presentation but colors, black tones and detail all appear as they should with no disruptions.
  • Audio
The sole English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is more center channel heavy due to this being a mostly dialogue driven film in between the violence, which is always aurally clear - leaving the subwoofer to kick up periodically during those said violent scenes. It's appropriately loud and low-key.

Bonus Features
  • Audio Commentary - Darren Lynn Bousman & Shawn Ashmore 
  • Darren Lynn Bousman gives a nice track that's really informative and delves into the behind the scenes making of Mother's Day that includes a load of interesting factoids. Such as the first cut of this film was 4 hours long (where's that deleted footage?), they took another script and crafted it into this, as well as the film's troubled releasing history. It's actually a great listen that fans of the film and Bousman's work will definitely want to check out.
  • DVD Copy