Art

You’re not my mother folk horror movie review

A woman with short dark hair and blood dripping from her mouth looks over her shoulder.

Oh god mother! Blood! Blood!
image: magnet release

Writing last week’s list of Irish horror filmsscheduled for St. Patrick’s Day, made me realize just how captivating many of these films are changeling folklore. New version you are not my mother is no exception, although it elevates itself by cloaking its characters in some particularly strong ones real horrors.

If the mention of changelings sounds like a spoiler – well, please note that the movie is named literally you are not my mother As you can imagine, the film unfolds from the point of view of the story’s daughter: Dublin teenage Char (a wonderful Hazel Doupe). Her introverted nature and superstar student status have made her an outcast at school, at best quietly eating lunch alone and at worst being attacked by a vicious clique of mean girls led by the pushy Suzanne (Jordanne Jones) and the potentially murderous Kelly (Kathie Weiss).

school sucks

school sucks
image: magnet release

Char’s life would be crappy enough under the circumstances, but the tense situation at home means there’s no escaping her misery. Her mother, Angela (Carolyn Bracken), is prone to sudden mood swings and bizarre behavior; At the beginning of the film, she abandons her car and disappears for a few hours, something Char’s uncle Aaron (Paul Reid) and grandmother Rita (Ingrid Craigie) face with the weary energy of people dealing with a troubled loved one have for decades. Angela’s fragile state of mind is something she can’t control and nobody blames her, but it’s draining for everyone around her – especially for Char, whose pain is evident even before we get a flashback to happier days when Angela was more stable was.

But! This is no ordinary tale of teenage angst. you are not my mother Telegraphs from his very first scene that there is more to Angela’s spreading illness than brain chemistry. Something maybe more witchy. Audiences know that the “birthmark” on Char’s face is actually a burn scar, the result of a mysterious ritual Grandma performed on Char as a toddler, although Char now needs the film to unravel her family’s big secret walk . And there are other omens along the way – the strange noises Char hears at night and her tormenting nightmares, the fact that Suzanne’s father is warning her to avoid Char’s family, and the not-so-coincidental fact that she is you are not my mother takes place in the days leading up to Halloween.

Char and Granny are surrounded by darkness.

Char and Granny are surrounded by darkness.
image: magnet release

with you are not my mother, writer-director Kate Dolan has created a compelling exploration of growing up in a world that can be unbearably cruel. Even stripping away its folk-horror elements, Char’s ordeal would be harrowing – but the supernatural evils that creep in end up being both a metaphor for a family falling apart under the cloud of mental illness and a source for some absolutely nail-biting tension and terror. Strong performances across the board (Bracken is particularly awesome; while her role gets some special effects, she’s mostly driven by her ability to perfectly embody both a playful mother and an almost savage monster) and an unsettling score from the composer The witches carry on you are not my mother A movie that goes beyond its more familiar storyline points to carving out its own jarring little niche.

you are not my mother hits theaters and on-demand on March 25th.


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