Director – Trucia Lyman (Ghosts of Shepherdstown, Blade Brothers)
Starring – Melinda Page Hamilton (Grimm, iZombie), Bailey Edwards (Bright, My Dead Boyfriend), and Janet Ulrich Brooks (Conviction, Educating Cooper)
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 1/5
Last week I went through about five of six reviews for films that were just weird. Weird, but only a few of them were bad. I love strange movies and the weirder they are the more I’m intrigued by them. This changed when I checked out a few traditional indie horror films that were more grounded than my previous reviews.
After watching a indie zombie flick I decided to follow it up with another indie flick. This time I set my sights to the 2020 film M.O.M. (Mothers of Monsters). This quasi-found footage flick was not what I was expecting. I want to thank Justin Cook for sending this one over to me to check out!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a troubled mother who suspects that her son may be secretly plotting a murder or possibly a mass shooting. After reaching out to the police on several occasions and nothing coming from it she decided to document her day to day life to show other mothers what it’s like. The mother is battling her inner demons as well and pushes on sneaking through her son’s belongings before she pushes him too far and he snaps.**Spoiler Alert**
I got the press release for this flick a few weeks ago and thought it looked interesting enough but that changed once I tossed the DVD in. It took me several viewings to actually finish the film. It just wasn’t my kind of flick and it was one of the few films that almost made me throw in the towel because I didn’t think I could finish it.
The acting in this one isn’t bad but it is one of the few flicks where I hated the characters. Bailey Edwards does a fantastic job as an angsty teenager. In fact, he was so good in his role that I wanted to fucking slap him. His performance reminded me so much of some of my friends growing up around that age and I really wanted to kick him in his balls for being such a spoiled brat. Similar things can be said about Melinda Hamilton’s performance. I don’t know if it was intentional for the viewer to dislike her but I did not care for her character. She did a solid job with her performance but I couldn’t get passed the character. When the film revolves around two characters and the viewer doesn’t like either can create a film that flows more like a chore instead of entertaining.
The story for this one may have looked good on paper but typing it out kind of makes me roll my eyes. The woman documenting herself made me scratch my head a few times throughout the film. My biggest question with the story is if she felt so uncomfortable about her own son why would she stay there with him? Why does she sleep on the couch outside his room if she thinks he is potentially dangerous? Also, when did owning an animal in a specimen jar become a thing murderers do? I’m friends with so many people that collect oddities and, to my knowledge, they have never murdered or tortured anyone. I may be looking at this story in the wrong light but the story just feels forced and very clumsy.
Finally, if you want blood and gore you are barking up the wrong tree here. We do get some make up effects but that is very minimal if that. Overall, M.O.M. is a missed opportunity. I could see something purely terrifying coming out of a story like this especially post-Columbine but the characters and the approach to the story really takes away the punch the story could have. This is not one I can recommend.