Director – Scott Vickers (Real Crime, River City)
Starring – Charlie Blackwood (Great Expectations, Mel), Julie Hannan (Fresh Meat, Coronation Street), and Scott Vickers
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 2.5/5
Tagline – “Mother knows best”
After spending almost a month reviewing 70s and 80s horror and exploitation flicks I wanted to return to some modern horror. I jumped on Henrique Couto’s newest Haunting Inside before moving on to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s newest horror comedy Slaughterhouse Rulez. The latter of the two was a bit of a disappointment.
After checking these out I went ahead and tossed in the UK based horror thriller Matriarch which was sent to me for review on DVD. The artwork looked fun but, sadly, the movie was nowhere near as fun as I was hoping. I actually fell asleep a few times trying to watch it. I had to start it over twice because I had nodded off while giving it a spin.
**Spoiler Alert**The movie followed a married couple who is expecting their first child. They have a car accident while traveling through the country and walk to a nearby farm where they meet an unusual family. They are sad to hear that a storm has knocked out their phones lines. The situation turns from strange to deadly when their weird mannerisms and deep religious views come forward and they are not allowed to leave. The young couple tries to sneak out but they are caught and the family’s real intentions are revealed.**Spoiler Alert**
I went into this one thinking it was going to be a twisted tale centered around a deranged baby or some sort of demon possession flick. I guess I should have read the press release. Sadly, it was neither and what I was given was another hixploitation flick centered around a devout family with deranged behavior. The movie actually wasn’t bad but it was extremely slow and what could have been a very dark religious horror film just fell short.
The acting in this one wasn’t bad. Charlie Blackwood and Scott Vickers are fantastic together. They both delivered solid performance but their characters were very flat, generic, and easily forgettable. With that being said, I really enjoyed Julie Hannan and Alan Cuthbert are the real stars of the film. They brought so much to the scene and truly deserve any praise they get from their performances.
The story for this one has so much potential. Religion is a scary thing to me. I don’t care the religion. Christian, Islam, Hindu, and Judaism can all be scary. All organized religion can be turned extreme and when it does it can be deadly. This is truly terrifying if you think about it. So having a secluded heavily religious family killing in the name of their savior with a child obsession could be fucking terrifying. Instead, this only goes so far into the store before it takes the backseat and the viewer is giving boring scenes of a women chained to a wall and religious men that are sexually frustrated. It will try the viewer’s patience.
Finally, the film has a few deaths. We have one pretty brutal shotgun kill that I was not expecting but the rest are easily forgettable. The effects work for the kill but there is nothing innovative or groundbreaking. If you have watched horror before then there is nothing haven’t already seen. Overall, Matriarch had a story that I could get behind but failed to reach it’s full potential. Sadly, the slow moving story and a film with mostly unlikable characters will make it difficult to finish for some.