Thursday, October 9, 2008

Film Review: Mother of Tears

Dario Argento's "Three Mothers" Trilogy has concluded and for those familiar with the films "Suspiria" & "Inferno" it was a long time coming. "In Suspiria", we see the death of the Mother of Sighs, In "Inferno" tells the story of the Mother of Darkness and the Mother of Tears is the third most beautiful and vicious of them all. The general concept of the films comes from the book Suspiria de Profundis, the sequel to Thomas De Quincy's Confessions of an English Opium Eater which is vaguely hinted at in the movie Mother of Tears.

Argento is a edgy storyteller who is not afraid to go there with the gore and blood. Translation: if he cannot scare you, he will go for the gross out. I like that about him.

Well, the story of the Mother of Tears begins at an archaeological dig in which a priest finds a bizarre urn on top of a coffin buried since the 16Th century. The Urn contains three statues representing the 3 mothers and a talisman that belongs to the dreaded Mother of Tears. The urn is sealed and sent to Rome for study. As it turns out, Rome is right where the urn belonged. Unknowingly, Sarah and her colleague break the seal and unearth the contents of the urn and release a demonic plague that effects everyone in the city. Also, unknowingly, Sarah is the only one who can stop the Mother of Tears before she ushers in a second age of witches onto the earth.

Argento chose to put his daughter Asia Argento as the lead character Sarah, an American art student with latent supernatural powers of her own. Asia Argento is also a filmmaker as well as an actress. Very beautiful, she played the part well. Undoubtedly, she must have been familiar with her father's work. Even with her accent heavily pronounced in some scenes she was believable as a naive American damsel in distress.

As a whole, the film was scary, without being pretentious, and sexual without being too pornographic.

There is a scene in which a woman is impaled vaginally with a spear for daring to give Sarah safe haven in her apartment. A boy is gutted on a slab and eaten by demons. I could go on.

The ending is the only thing I have a problem with. Sarah supposedly has powers. She could have learned to use those powers and defeated her witchy foe or not. But, in the end, the all powerful Mother of Tears went out like a bag of trash. See the movie to see what I mean. No spoilers on this one.

I will say this movie has its flaws and failures. But so does Suspiria and Inferno and they are still great films. So is Mother of Tears. It was a long time coming but I am glad I saw it.

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