Mother’s Day (2012)

Editor’s Note: The film was completed in 2010 and shown at various events, but was never able to secure distribution. It received a theatrical release in the UK in 2011, before finally being released in the states on May 4, 2o12 (in limited theatrical markets) and May 8, 2012 (on DVD/Blu-Ray). IMDB lists it as a 2010 film, but I went with the official US release date of 2012.

Starring Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, Patrick John Flueger, Warren Kole, Deborah Ann Woll, Briana Evigan, Shawn Ashmore, Frank Grillo, Lisa Marcos, Matt O’Leary, Lyriq Bent, Tony Nappo, Kandyse McClure, Jessie Rusu, Jason Wishnowski

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

Expectations: None. I hate remakes, but this one might be interesting.


I never expected this Mother’s Day to be as good as the original. I also never expected this Mother’s Day to completely dispose of the original’s plot. This film is the definition of a loose remake, using only a few characters and situations from the original and then going hog-wild with home invasion tension and torture from there. Really wasn’t expecting that. It actually works out for me, because watching two versions of the same movie back-to-back could get a bit draining. But expectations and comparisons to the original aside, I can’t say that this film is anything I’d classify as quality entertainment, or quality horror, in that it follows the modern path of the Saw films by making the horror come from what you might be forced to do to survive. It should then come as no surprise to find out that the director of this remake is Darren Lynn Bousman, previously responsible for directing Saw IIIV.

As I hinted at, the story here is a very simple, home invasion hostage situational with dashes of Saw sprinkled in here and there. Two girls interrupt the villains at the ATM? They’re given a knife and thirty seconds to decide who will kill the other to survive. Similar situations happen several times throughout the movie, and while they are never as premeditated and wild as the ones in Saw, they are awfully contrived, especially if you’re aware of the director’s earlier work going into the film (like I was). Apparently this is what passes for horror nowadays, although I refuse to accept it. These types of films and situations come directly out of the reality show obsessed culture, where each week millions watch as friend becomes enemy. In the 80s we were scared of the dark. Now we’re scared of what my friend will do to me if given the chance. Is it just me, or is American culture getting too goddamned paranoid?

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Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002)

Starring Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino, Steve Buscemi, Mike Judge, Matt O’Leary, Emily Osment, Ricardo Montalban, Holland Taylor, Taylor Momsen

Directed by Robert Rodriguez

Expectations: Moderate. I expect to have fun. No more, no less.


I don’t review a lot of kids movies here at Silver Emulsion and that’s because most of them aren’t very good. OK, OK, the same could be said of many horror films, but the truth is: I’m not a kid, nor do I have kids, so I just don’t see a lot of them. They also don’t really appeal to me either, which is probably a good thing as I’m now in my thirties and it gets a little creepy to be saying “One for Agent Cody Banks, please” once you’re old enough to drive yourself around. There are always exceptions to the rule though, and Robert Rodriguez’s films for children always seem to fit into that category for me. As I mentioned in my lengthy and ridiculously wordy review of the original Spy Kids, it was a viewing of his Shorts that led me to revisit his kid-friendly work, and I’m glad that I did. I enjoyed the first film quite a bit, and I think the second one is even better.

Story isn’t really the strongpoint of this film, but here’s the gist: Our spy kid heroes are no longer the only game in town, as seemingly every agent this side of a Madagascar alleyway has inducted their own children into the program. Juni and Carmen’s main rivals are Gary and Gerti Giggles, spawn of Dr. Giggles Donnagon Giggles, the new head of the OSS. Anyway, the president’s daughter starts the ball rolling by stealing a device known as the Transmooker, and, of course, every one wants it. This leads our heroes and their devious enemies down a wonderful thrill ride of a spy picture, complete with more insane gadgets than you could ever hope to see in the entire James Bond series.

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