Often times, avid film fanatics will align themselves with a filmmaker that leaves a lasting first impression. In the genre of horror, I have several. With Romero, Carpenter, Fulci or Argento standing out the most. Then there are filmmakers I adore, that aren’t widely known for their horror endeavors. Last year, one of my favorite directors Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson) brought us the polarizing horror film The Neon Demon. This year is no different. Because another one of my favorite directors Darren Aronofsky is back! After wild critical acclaim with his dramatic horror Black Swan (2010), can his horror lightning strike twice?
An unnamed couple are enjoying a tranquil existence together, in a beautiful farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. “Mother” played by Jennifer Lawrence (House at the End of the Street) is renovating the aging abode, while “Him” (Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men) is an accomplished writer in the midst of a drought of creativity. Soon uninvited guests begin to arrive and slowly turn their wonderful seclusion upside down.
My first experience with Aronofsky’s work was his mind-bending debut film 1998’s Pi. Since then, I have been hooked with everything he’s done. Like Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Fountain (2006), The Wrestler (2008) are all amazing films. His new film Mother! is no different. Aronofsky who also wrote the film, really pushed the boundaries of the imagination with this nightmarish flick.
Aronofsky really brought in some big guns with Mother!. Boasting a stellar co-starring cast of Ed Harris (A History of Violence), Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina) and Michelle Pfeiffer (What Lies Beneath, Wolf). Topped with an intriguing cameo from Saturday Night Live legend Kristen Wiig, her performance was a large step away from her comedic portfolio and was especially chilling.
Longtime collaborator of Aronofskys’, Matthew Libatique was the eye behind the camera. Together they drew the audience a nauseatingly anxious and truly horrific canvas, where I was truly on the edge of my seat for a spell. Special effects supervisor Mario Dumont and his team gave us just the right amount of blood and gore to keep the bloodhounds howling.
Without going into too much detail about the film for those who haven’t seen it, Mother! was a hugely thematic social commentary on many aspects of humanity. This film is so much more than what was given to the audience at face value. The first hour was an anxiety-fused slow burn, but the last 30 minutes were a complete and total whirlwind-mindfuck (Yes, I came up with that, because it was the only way to describe what I was feeling when the end credits began to roll).
Out of the theater, Mother! was given widely mixed reviews. Which honestly doesn’t surprise me when it comes to Aronofsky’s work. I think that some of the people that disliked the flick, may not have entirely understood the whole concept of the film. Hell, I’ve seen the film twice already and I still have a couple of questions myself. Mother! has the makings to be a true cult film, one that can spark conversation on many themes the film depicts throughout.
At this point, it may be needless to say, the film cracked my TOP 5 of 2017…
…I FUCKING LOVED MOTHER!!
Thanks for reading boils and ghouls and remember….