I saw the trailer for Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! a few months back and I was all in from the start. If you’re a fellow Black Swan fan, then all it probably took was seeing his name attached to the film to get hyped up.
A Solid Set-Up
The casting of Jennifer Lawrence, opposite veteran actors like Javier Bardem and Ed Harris (just to name a few), was intriguing to me. And the mood of the trailer seemed akin to The Strangers or, hearkening back to the classics, perhaps even The Twilight Zone with the domestic setting. Strangely enough, the beginning of the trailer goes as far as to suggest that the story contained within it echoes of a screwed-up fairy tale via a dreamy voice over and eerily pleasant background music. Not to fret fellow freaky movie enthusiasts, because soon enough the unsettling violin plucking kicks in, which always means creepiness ensuing.
There were certain moments in the two or so minute teaser that suggested horror was the main player in Aronofsky’s project: a bloodied light bulb shattering into tiny shards of gooey glass, a visit to a dark and dingy basement, complete with a pitch-black tunnel that looks like it leads to Hell itself, and shadowy strangers lurking in every corner. Up until the film came out and the critical conversation gained steam, I was more than excited to go watch Aronofsky’s newest horror film.
I caught a whiff of the critical reception for Mother! prior to viewing but I still had faith in the movie. However, right before the movie started, I leaned over to my boyfriend and asked:
“How long do you think it’ll take before it starts to get weird?”
And trust me, it didn’t take very long at all. Granted, the first hour or so (or act, if you will) was slow to start and mostly punctuated by a lot of uncomfortable silence and wandering around. But, the movie was still quite odd from the get go. Though, if you’re a fan of Aronofsky’s, would you really expect any less?
Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here
No matter what, Mother! will shake you to your core and get a reaction out of you, whether good, bad, or even ugly.
While the aforementioned horror aspects are in the film, they certainly play second fiddle to the insanity and chaos that bombard the experience as a whole, especially the second “act”. I don’t want to give anything away, even though at this point it’s entirely possible that you’ve been spoiled, but just take my word for it that the phrase “everything is not what it seems” is good to keep in mind when going into this assault on the mind.
I didn’t get what I paid for, which was an “out there” horror movie, but what I did get was “out there” to say the least. No matter what, Mother! will shake you to your core and get a reaction out of you, whether good, bad, or even ugly.
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