Mother of Tears
Runtime: 1 hr 42 min
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Dario Argento
Starring: Asia Argento, Daria Nicolodi, Moran Atias, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni
The goofiness dismisses the fluorishes.
Review by: TomElce
Added: 8 years ago
Dario Argento once suggested that rounding out his "Three Mothers" trilogy would represent taking the easy option, and one supposes that it's no surprise his pseudo-sequel to 1979's Suspiria and 1980's Inferno finds the giallo-maestro slumming it. Criminal for an Argento film, Mother of Tears is rich in disappointingly drab cinematography that only occasionally comes to re-imagine Suspiria's visual prowess (as in the shot of a reddened curtain or a stand-out "face in the wall" moment). Argento infuses his latest with the same grim, schlocky violence (a woman is strangled with her own intestines in the first ten minutes, people across the city begin random acts of violence and depravation - i.e. throwing babies off bridges) that has become one of his trademarks, Mother of Tears amounting to one explicitly violent horror movie, but also one whose goofiness dismisses the fluorishes.
Asia Argento's Sarah's communication with the spirit of her murdered mother is ridiculous to behold and that she reappears thereafter in equally dim Casper fashion robs from the effectiveness Argento sporadically achieves in his story, set in Rome, where the Third Mother (Moran Atias) has been released to subsequent havoc. Acting performances are less flawed than in Argento's more recent films (though Asia is basically reproducing her usual schtick) but the filmmaking is diminished, Argento showing sparse glimpses of the technical prowess which made films as Opera and Sleepless so effective in spite of their conventional flaws. Neither scary nor camp fun in the Cabin Fever kind of way, Mother of Tears rather qualifies as a thuddingly mediocre movie. Hopefully Giallo will find Argento back in his element.