on 12 March 2015
Awful rubbish from Argento that fails on every level. There's three possibilities here: 1) the film is a gag, a joke being played on his loyal fans who've been patiently waiting for the sequels to 'Suspiria' and 'Inferno' for 27 years, and its terrible writing, lacklustre direction, numerous incompetencies, and dreadful performances are part of the fun (it's hard to square this with the film's truly nasty and unpleasant gore scenes, though); 2) Argento realises that he's lost whatever inspiration he had all those years ago, couldn't have cared less making this film and, after scribbling the plot on a cafe napkin, spent his time on set just waved his hand vaguely in the direction of the actors without even looking up from the newspaper or whatever he was reading; 3) Argento genuinely believes this is a serious and scary movie, and this is the best he can now do (which is the most depressing of the three). But as a joke it's not funny, and as a serious horror movie it's utterly preposterous and inept.
on 6 March 2015
Very fast and fun film. I liked the pace, the story, even the Actors: Philippe Le Roy would deserve a Whole film only for his great character Guglielmo De Witt! Good Dario Argento film, in my opinion. What I don't like in this film about witches is...the witches! Too Cyndi Lauper without any charisma. And I do not like the Mother Of Tears. But you know, she's not important in the film, what's important is the general atmosphere, just like it was in Suspiria and Inferno: in those films too the end is abrupt and could have been better. But you enjoy the ride. This film is completely different from the first two, and I think this brings fresh air to the whole story of the three mothers.
on 6 March 2014
Maybe it's because I remember Argento for The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, Cat O' Nine Tails, Suspiria, Phenomena and Opera amongst many other great works of art that I was so disappointed and surprised at Mother of Tears. As it is well known to his legion of fans Argento's movies as great as they can be have never impressed when it came to his choice of actors. But this effort signifies a new low. Why Dario hired Adam James is anyone's guess. He is amongst one of the worst actors that I have had to endure over a 90 minute period of celluiloid film. I was thinking that he wouldn't look out of place in an episode of the BBC 1 drama Casualty. So I almost lost a lung through laughing when I checked his resume on IMDB to be confronted with the fact that he was a regular on the show. Even Argento's daughter Asia who has always been a decent method actor above acting is pretty dire. The whole feel of the film seems like a low budget TV production than a lavish Argento masterpiece and you are left wondering why Dario didn't just up and pack his bags halfway through production, couldn't he see what was happening?
Mother of Tears is the final segment in the trilogy which kicked off with Suspiria some 30 years ago and was followed up by the well filmed but ultimately flawed Inferno. But this final part no one could see coming in the 80s and in Argento's pomp. The plot itself could have unravelled into a half decent film if he had found some believable actors and had hired a better writing team than himself, Jace Anderson and Adam Gierasch. And one is craving to hear a Goblin soundtrack that never appears.
On the plus side there are a few scenes that crave your attention and the gore is plentiful and quite brutal ala Argento. So think a woman being strangled by her own intestines and Udo Kier having his face repeatadly smashed in- and as you know Dario doesn't like cutting away from such things.
But the gore alone can't save this film. Which is a shame as there was plenty of potential. But Argento has lost his magic touch, the power to put you the viewer inside his warped mind and you are left at the end scrambling for a copy of Suspiria to clean out your machine and your mind.
on 14 April 2008
Italian horror maestro Dario Argento returns with the third and final chapter in his ''three mothers'' trilogy which began with the superb 'Suspiria' and 'Inferno'. Following on from a recent slate of minor missteps, hopes were high for the master of italian horror to come full circle with this much celebrated series of films. Problem is, my hopes were obviously too high as this new entry only proves to disappoint on many levels . . .
The story has Sarah (played by Argento's daughter Asia Argento), studying art restoration at a Museum in Rome. Examining an ancient urn there she unwittingly unleashes the power of an evil witch known as the ''Mother of Tears'' played by Moran Atias. Once free, the world (well, Rome) is plunged into darkness and chaos with a wave of suicides and crime sweeping across Italy's capital (think '28 weeks later' without the budget), leading to a climatic confrontation between Sarah (who discovers her latent supernatural powers ala a Harrry Potter style ghost effect (Daria Nicolodi in a strange cameo) and the Third Mother in a broken down gothic house in the heart of Italy. And in a nutshell, thats it.
Argento fails to bring his usual array of cinematic tricks (strong colour schemes, weird camera angles and bad acting are mostly absent . . . well, maybe not the bad acting) to fill his latest effort. After his ''best of/compilation'' movie 'Sleepless', Argento has rarely reclaimed the glory days of his late 1970s/mid 1980s output - gone are the explicit gore and clever camera trickery of 'Opera' or 'Tenebrae' and now he seems intent to produce dull horror exercises that only barely offer the bare bones entertainment that he used to. For someone who is so used to creating such magnificent murder set pieces in the past seems to blow various scenes by just having blood for blood's sake. A particularly spooky opening attack is ruined by cheap rubber entrail effects that totally take you out of the scene.
The cast don't fair much better, either. Asia Argento isn't the strongest lead and you don't feel the empowerment for her character when she learns of her supernatural powers (say, like Jennifer Connelly in 'Phenomena') and the rest of the cast are wasted in underwritten roles. Its a real shame as this one could have been a major contender - maybe the upcoming 'Giallo' will turn out better. Suggest a rental before buying, or re-watch 'Suspiria' instead.
on 23 October 2014
Mental. At least you get to see a topless witch impaled on a church steeple. Not something I'd realised was lacking in my viewing history, until now.
on 20 May 2010
"Mother Of Tears" is Dario Argento's long-awaited follow-up to "Suspiria" (1977) and "Inferno" (1980) and is the third part of his "Three Mothers" trilogy.
"MOT" begins with the discovery of an ancient urn in Viterbo Cemetery, in Rome. The Monsignor sends the urn with a letter to his friend Michael Pierce (Adam James), who is the curator of a local museum. When the urn arrives at the museum, Michael is not around but two of his colleagues, Sarah Mandy (Asia Argento) and Giselle Mares (Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni), are enveloped by an overriding sense of curiosity about it and decide to open the urn in Michael's absence. This is akin to opening Pandora's Box because the urn belongs to The Mother Of Tears (or Mater Lachrymarum, to give her her Latin name), an ancient witch with evil powers, and opening it causes all Hell to break loose. Shortly after opening the urn and discovering its strange contents, Giselle is brutally murdered in the museum by a bunch of Mater Lachrymarum's demonic disciples (there aren't too many movies that show someone being strangled with their own intestines). Sarah witnesses her colleague's death but she manages to escape after hearing a strange, distant voice and a series of locked doors in the musuem corridors miraculously open. Later, she tells the police what happened but they are more than a little sceptical.
Meanwhile, in Rome, people are committing random acts of brutality, rape and murder (but isn't that just a normal day in Rome?) and the forces of evil begin to gather. Can Sarah, with the assistance of the spirit of her dead mother (Daria Nicolodi), find the lair of The Mother of Tears and stop her from spreading her evil throughout the world? Her quest leads her to various locations and strange characters who usually end up being gruesomely murdered after she meets them. Sarah eventually finds the large old building that is home to the witch and her followers but can she find a way of defeating them?
Let me get straight to the point in my assessment of "MOT". It is a MASSIVE disappointment and is nowhere near in the same class as "Suspiria" and "Inferno". Dario should have made this film in the early 1980s, shortly after "Inferno", when he was at the peak of his powers as a writer and director. Why he waited so long (nearly 30 years) to make this third installment is anybody's guess. "Suspiria" and "Inferno" had great style, were visually stunning and contained some remarkable set-pieces. Alas, this is not the case with "MOT". The use of music in these films is also very important. "Suspiria" had a terrifying and highly-original score by the rock band Goblin and "Inferno" featured a superb orchestral score by Keith Emerson. Unfortunately, the score for "MOT", by the usually-reliable Claudio Simonetti, often sounds like a poor pastiche of Jerry Goldsmith's music for "The Omen". With "Suspiria" and "Inferno" Dario showed great inventiveness as a director. His use of colour and lighting in these films is dazzling and he possesses the rare ability to make even the most mundane scenes seem interesting. His directorial style in "MOT" seems heavy-handed in comparison.
"MOT" is Dario Argento at his most frustrating and annoying because his fans and critics know that he is capable of producing things so much better than this. Prior to "MOT" I would have said that Dario Argento's worst film was his 1998 version of "The Phantom Of The Opera" but at least that film had a fine music score by Ennio Morricone. "MOT" has virtually no redeeming qualities at all and contains some of Dario's daftest ideas since his 1984 film "Phenomena" (a.k.a. "Creepers"). Are modern horror film audiences really expected to swallow the fact that Sarah, a museum worker, can suddenly make herself invisible? Some of the acting in "MOT" is atrocious. Adam James as Michael is exceptionally bad and some of the actors that play the witch's disciples are pretty dire too (one of them looks like former Serie A football referee, Pier Luigi Collina) and they are more laughable than scary. The normally beautiful and sexy Asia Argento looks awful in this film. Was she deliberately meant to appear haggard-looking? Some of Argento's previously-used actors and actresses come off the best in terms of the acting honours in this movie - namely Udo Kier, Daria Nicolodi and Coralina Cataldi-Tassori, but they all only appear very briefly. In my opinion, Dario would have been better off not making this film at all rather than waiting this long to make it. It contains none of the flair that Dario became noted for with his classic giallo films and horror movies of the 1970s and 1980s. Will we ever see again from Dario another film as good as his last truly great work "Opera" (1987), I wonder?
If you are a fan of Argento's work then you will still probably want to check out "MOT" and make your own mind up about it but, I for one, was very disappointed and saddened by it.
Let me make this clear, I am not just a fan of the supposed "classic" Argento. Yeas I love "Suspiria" and especially "Profondo Rosso", but I also have a lot of time for the likes of "Trauma", "Nonhosonno", "Stendhal Syndrome", "Opera" and "Phenomena" (though I can also see and acknowledge the flaws in his work). "The Card Player" was sadly a tired, bloodless (in every way) giallo most of the time (again lumbered with bad dubbing in places - the Argento curse) but even it had the odd stylish setpiece. "Jenifer", his entry in the first season of "Masters of Horror" was, I felt, quite a return to form - dreamlike, stylish and downright nasty.
I had read mixed reviews for "The Mother of Tears". Many early reviews were downright hostile. Not unusual for Argento, I thought. And even a flawed Argento is still interesting. And then I saw a few positive fan reviews so I decided to give it a chance.
What a mistake-a to make-a.
This is dire, a mess of a film with nothing going for it. I didn't expect it to have the same stylistic look as "Suspiria" or "Inferno", the first two in the "Three Mothers Trilogy", but this film looks like it was written and directed by a ten year old kid. It's badly made in nearly every way and JUST NOT SCARY. The first two films were more atmosphere than plot (which is fine, it suits the nightmarish aspects of the films), but this one does have more plot. The problem is it's so hackneyed and basic, yet still clumsy and badly told. The special effects are terrible too - yes the gore is back but so what? It's laughable and badly made. And as for those witches! They were the most embarrassing panto villains ever.
There is no excuse. No redeeming factor. If anyone else had directed this travesty it would have been forgotten. Argento has a lot to prove from here-on in...
on 8 March 2016
People are very critical about this film, personally, I'm just glad I got to see the final installment of this trilogy. Asia Argento is always a delight too.
on 22 July 2013
I read some of the dire reviews before buying "Mother of Tears", but I wanted to see how the trilogy ended and, as a result, I'm pleasantly happy with my viewing of it. Dario's main offence to the critics seems to hinge on his using a different approach. This film has more plot and incident than "Suspiria" or "Inferno" but loses out on being as bizarre as the first or has frightening as the second. It's music isn't bad, with the Gregorian style chanting, the the photography in and around Rome is no less acceptable than for "Angels and Demons". The acting in none of the films has been a strong point so criticisms here seem out of place, but at least it was comforting to hear decent English spoken by the male lead. Guts and gore are Dario's forte and, amongst many instances of horrific death, you have a FULL Vlad-style impaling with an uncomfortably long spear of my favourite actress in the film, plus a strangulation by intestines, and the throwing of a baby off a bridge. Sadly, some of the effects are unconvincing, maybe even by intention. For example, some people would be too offended by the death of a baby, so maybe that is why as it falls you see that in mid-air it is a bald doll.
Personally, I never saw what the fuss was about with "Suspiria". Yes, it is bizarre, but also drawn out, poorly acted for an English audience, short on action, with only three main death scenes, and has an attractive but simple and very repetitious music score similar to the John Carpenter style. I saw it as part of a double bill with the original "black Christmas" - which is a really hair-raising film - so I was not particularly impressed by "Suspiria".
On the other hand, "Inferno" is brilliant and not to be missed, the high point of the trilogy. In order of preference, "Inferno" is best, followed by "Mother of Tears" and finally "Suspiria".
Dario and his team have obviously enjoyed working on "Mother of Tears" and you can tell because, here and there, you can see extra little loving but unneccessary touches, even to the wealth of infernal artwork shown in the closing credits.
This is not a dire disappointment, as "The Wicker Tree" is to "The Wicker Man", but is just a different approach, with a lesser budget, from poor Dario who has deviated from what the fans expect. Had this film been made by an unknown, it would have been heralded as good new horror.
What we now need is a successor to Dario, who can stun us with the artistically surreal, the bizarre, the eventfully plotted and terribly memorable all put together. We want cliches of fire, darkness and deadly death scenes with expected blood and gore. We want dread that haunts the night so we fear to leave the theatre. We want realistic piercing screams down dark alleys, not drowned out by loud music, and we want strong characters we can fear or identify with, and a catchy tune that brings its pleasurable memory thrill every time we hear it.
So, I suggest we get all the critics together and see if they can do better. Having said all that, "Mother of Tears" is a decent occult horror film and I quite like and recommend it.
on 14 October 2011
If this were some unheard of director I'd throw it an extra star but as its Argento (who I like) it could have been better. However if you like camp, slightly mental horror films this is a great one. The acting is pretty bad. Asia Argento's dialogue is shoddy although her facial expressions etc are perfectly fine. Perhaps it was a dubbing issue. I like her anyway so I didnt mind to much in a movie like this. It starts pretty well - fairly moody and intriguing before threatening to descend into formulaic horror boredom. However I found it picked up again for the last 40 mins due to some inventive and crazy sequences that only european horror could come up with. Some of the latex gore is great and original. The CGI is rubbish but its not overused to it doesnt ruin the film (luckily). theres plenty of unnessesary nudity and a small evil monkey that keeps hanging around, both of which made me laugh.
I liked this film. It has enough atmosphere to make it stand out and I will definately watch it again one day. It's a different film from suspiria and inferno but as modern horror goes, at least it isnt totally forgettable.