Mother of TearsAfter releasing a string of films in the early ’70s, Italian writer/director Dario Argento made a huge splash in the horror world when he released the 1977 witch-filled cult classic Suspiria, as well as the subsequent 1980 sequel Inferno. Three decades - and a string of not-so-well received horror movies later, Argento is back with the finale to the trilogy begun by the two classic films. To grasp the full space of time between Suspiria and Mother of Tears, consider that the film’s lead (Argento’s own daughter, Asia Argento), was only two years old when the first film was released. Much has changed in the world of horror – and in Argento’s directing style, since the late ’70s.

And while Mother of Tears still packs a pretty decent punch when it comes to standard horror fare, Argento is no longer a leading voice in an expanding genre, instead he’s a legend returning to his masterpiece a bit late in the game to see what he can salvage. Much like Stephen King’s Dark Tower series finales or George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels, Argento doesn’t quite have the touch he had when he began to bring this final movie up to the level of its predecessors. In order to compensate for a general lack of continuity and relative drop in quality, Argento has settled back on what most horror directors start out with: excess gore and gratuitous nudity. Luckily, Argento manages to present both in impressive ways so though Mother of Tears is no Suspiria – it’s not even an Inferno for that matter – it still stands on its own as a horror film.

The plot is pretty straightforward: an ancient urn is uncovered and sent to an art museum in Rome where American art student Sarah Mandy  (Asia Argento, with an obvious Italian accent) is working. Sarah and a coworker proceed to unwittingly unleash an “unimaginable evil” by opening the urn. Destruction and mayhem descends upon the city and Sarah is called upon (by her mother’s spirit) to realize the hidden power within herself and to confront the powerful Mother of Tears before she regains too much power.

Along the way a few unfortunates are disembowelled (one choked with her own intestines in the goriest scene I’ve ever seen in a film) and many others are murdered. There are enough scenes of well-done violence for Argento to remind viewers that he’s still capable of orchestrating a fright-fest, but by the time the finale is reached – and the CGI emerges - it’s clear that Argento’s budget wasn’t enough to pull the film along. Argento fans will rejoice that he’s finally completed his trilogy, but those clueless to the history behind Mother of Tears may find themselves wondering what the fuss is about in this fairly standard B horror movie.

Zach’s Rating: B-
Perfect For: Those who need to see The Three Mothers trilogy come to an end
Stay Away if: You’ve never seen a Dario Argento movie. Watch Suspiria instead.

To purchase Mother of Tears, visit Amazon

Be Sociable, Share!