37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
If there is one thing that two seasons of the often underwhelming TV series Masters Of Horror gave us, it was a rejuvinated Dario Argento. The Italian director delivered a pair of entries(Jenifer and Pelts) that stand not only as some of the best from the series, but also some of the best material(and most extreme) that he had done in nearly 10 years(Opera from 1987 being his last great work in my opinion), and showcased that he still had the ability to disturb and entertain. Gone was much of his famous trademarks-- inventive camerawork, use of heavy colored lighting, and artistic quirkiness; which were now replaced with more straightforward and solid pacing and scenes of shocking grue. With Mother Of Tears, Argento uses that same aforementioned formula from his Masters Of Horror episodes, except now stretched into full-length form AND used to complete his 28-years-in-the-making "mothers" trilogy of films(begining in 1977 with Suspiria, and it's sequel Inferno from 1980). The movie follows Sarah(poorly acted by Dario's own daughter Asia Argento), a museum worker who unwittingly unleashes the evil of the Mother of Tears on Rome when she opens an ancient cask... hijinx ensue and feature some of the Italian maestro's most excellent moments of depravity ever, including(but not limited to) stangulation by one's own intestines, baby cannibalism, and impalement(Cannibal Holocaust style!). Throw in some solid atmoshere, brisk pacing, tons of nudity(even some full-frontal for the gents), and a fantasic jump scare towards the middle of the movie(so good I had to watch it twice in a row), and we have a definite winner here(all that was missing was a soundtrack by Goblin). Between the joy of seeing Dario Argento's return from Hacksville(where Tobe Hooper and George Romero unfortunately still reside) and the amount of fun watching this provided, I have no choice but to deliver a rare 5 star rating... not to mention that I feel the film does catch some unnecassarily harsh critism due to Argento being the director; let's face it, if this was some nobody fresh out of film school he'd be heralded as the "next big thing" in horror cinema. Still, this isn't a true return to form for Argento as far as his classic style is concerned... it IS a return for Argento to making a great horror movie though(and that's a start right?)-- ABSOLUTELY RECOMMENDED!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2011
The "Three Mothers" series (Suspiria, Inferno) is concluded by Mother of Tears and the best part of this event is that this series is hopefully concluded. Argento's supernatural movies have had the weakest stories among his not-so-strong-on-stories output. Suspiria overcame this issue through its haunting cinematography and exceptional Goblin score, but such inspired combination is hard, if not impossible, to replicate. Inferno was already mediocre and now Mother of Tears just makes me want to watch Inferno again.
At least, I could stand to watch MoT until the end - often thinking of Argento's past movies and how this is a pale shadow of them. There are small moments in MoT (the timed light switch scene, for example) which remind me who the director is, but they are too short and are never fully realized. Others just feel so ridiculous they made me laugh - not a good thing for a movie that takes itself seriously. The soundtrack is insufficient to elevate the tension and the camera work is competent, but that's all I can say about it.
You would be better off picking some of Argento's previous attempts, like Sleepless,The Card Player, or Masters of Horror - Dario Argento - Jenifer. But MoT is only worth a rental and that only if you are an Argento fan.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2008
Ten reasons to like this film: the soundtrack by Simonetti is great; the credits are beautiful; the cinematography is often gorgeous even on DVD; Asia's performance is solid; the Mother, while no actress, is very hot; it has Udo Kier; the street witches are uniquely Argento; the ape is cool; the script is more coherent than haters claim; and Fulci's effects man worked on it! Also, it's never boring and much better than Argento's TV work. And Daria Nicolodi is back, if unrecognizable. So see it. As for the Vid Watchdog attack on MOT, they seem to have forgotten that the third mother enjoys cruelty; it's her theme. Also, they give Suspiria a pass when its script is little better, and Inferno is mostly a (delicious) disaster. Their claims of misogyny are problematic. If audiences don't feel the characters are in danger, where's the scare? Gratuitous cruelty (and stupidity, in comedies) is inevitable when movies compete to be the latest and greatest. (Welcome to Capitalism, folks. I guess you thought it couldn't have a downside.) The point of horror "art" is to explore the dark stuff on purpose - safely, from a distance. So when the Mother licks up a dying woman's tears, that ties in to the "mother of tears" title pretty well, don't you think? The lack of crane shots or primary colored sets is an intentional step away from his old style, says the director. So no points detracted there. Who knows - or cares - why some are so upset about the monkey. Isn't it enough for it to be weird and unexpected? That fits nicely with the characterization of Argento as a sort of Surrealist. Sure, there are plenty of sloppy moments here. And beautiful ones, too. But watch again for when Asia discovers the lair of the Mother - if you don't think that lighting is intentional, and very cool, you probably can't be won over to the Argento camp. So: no masterpiece, but plenty of bizarre and suprising stuff to keep us happy.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Legendary horror filmmaker Dario Argento returns as writer and director, the man has definitely made a name for himself for his mischievous flair and touch of the macabre. MOTHER OF TEARS: The Third Mother is the supposed third installment in his "Three Mothers" trilogy which began with "Suspiria" and its follow up "Inferno". Now, the question on everyone`s mind; is it worth the wait after more than 2 decades?
When an ancient artifact becomes uncovered in an old cemetery, it proves to be the harbinger of doom. The murder of an art historian is just the beginning as Sarah Mandy (Asia Argento) is caught up in a frightening situation that she doesn't have the knowledge to grasp. Sarah is pursued by forces beyond her understanding and she enlists the aid of museum specialist Michael Pierce but he proves ineffective. Amidst the widespread chaos that ensues in Rome, Sarah then approaches a local exorcist and even an alchemist for aid in hopes of uncovering the mystery of her mother and her connection to a coven of evil witches. Mother Lachrimarum (Moran Atias) has risen and plans to orchestrate the second fall of Rome unless Sarah can find her hidden power and stop this dark witch.
The Italian maestro of horror returns to his tale of witchcraft, chaos, evil and darkness. Part of me is very pleased that the legendary horror director had stepped up to finish his "witches" trilogy. After the very disappointing "The Card Player", one wouldn't be hard-pressed to think that he has lost his touch but thankfully, his "Masters of Horror" entry "Pelts" did have its moments and it gave hints that Argento still had it. Thankfully, amazon friends Puzzle Box and Dave K. have caused me to lower my expectations, nothing could compare to "Suspiria", which is arguably Argento's finest film, so I approached this film with an open mind. While "Mother of Tears" may somehow fit the trilogy, if you elevate your expectations, it may result in a timid laughter.
The film does start fairly strong. The discovered ancient artifact is an interesting enough concept although it is a hugely unoriginal one. Then again, what could past for a TRULY original horror film anyway these days? Sometimes I feel that Horror filmmaking may have already peaked and it shouldn't be how original a horror film is but what the director does with a concept. The film does have a fair amount of blood and gore, in this unrated version, we get to see more gruesome deaths and nudity. Death by intestine strangling, literally screwing the mouth open, a spear driven to women's vaginal areas, infant slaughter, impalements, all contribute to the film's main draw: "Brutality". Argento doesn't hold back when it comes to these elements.
The plot elements does have potential. Sarah's investigation into her past displayed a lot of ambition, accompanied by eerily creepy scenes mildly enhanced by CGI with the old-school blood and gore. I found some elements mildly interesting but unfortunately, these scenes were only used to delay the film's outcome. The proceedings didn't exactly help the film's resolution and I felt that it started running out of gas in the 45 minute mark. I also felt that the chaos caused by the supposed "rise" of Mother Lachimarum is severely underused. Where is the army when all these hinted wanton acts of violence, rape and murder is occurring? Some characters were merely plot devices, supporting characters were so unconvincing and once they served their purpose, you guessed it, they will suffer a grisly death. Some scenes were also too convenient.
The dialogue in the film feels a little too perfunctory for my tastes. It just proved too "card board" and it isn't helped along by the casts' very "robotic" acting. I also wondered whether the film was dubbed in English and was originally meant for another language. The so-called "Mother of Tears" was too underwhelming; after all the overlong dialogue and fact-finding, this is how she is finally overcame? I'm NOT spoiling anything, as you would know that the bad guy has to be beat. I have to admit that Moran Atias' scenes of almost "very" nude may be worth the price of the dvd itself.
Ultimately, Dario Argento's heart seems to be in the right place when he made this film. However, it was quite obvious that he was being held back due to the film's measly budget. The blood, guts and gore were very nice to look at, (despite the fact it isn't anything new) and the back story of the "Three Mothers" does tie up some loose ends. However, the film does feel that it came straight out of the Hollywood oven and made to fit more "mainstream" tastes. Still, the film is a decent dose of lusty, brutal fun that is a welcome change from all the horror remakes we've been plagued with of late. The film does feel quite ridiculous and rather rudimentary. But it's very nice for fans of Dario Argento to witness that the horror legend can still dream up ludicrous mayhem and violent deaths.
Recommended Timidly, RENT it first [3 Stars]
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2013
I hate to be a critic, I really do.
I don't want to mislead anyone about this film, so I tell it like it is from my pov of course.
The final say is whatever you think, I am just sharing my humble opinion.
This is the movie that could have been a great finale to a trilogy whose story is epic, surreal and of course frightening.
I realize Dario is much older now, and its obvious this film didn't have a huge budget.
Of course budget size just means the director and everyone else involved should make do with what they can and really stretch their creativity.
I thought the practical effects were well done...the cgi and digital effects not so much.
I say that not just because I personally prefer practical effects, but because everything else looks so cheesy to me.
Of course I have never made a film so I can only say these things from an audience perspective.
Maybe I had my hoped too high when I saw other poor reviews and figured what the heck, lets give it a go anyway.
I am not new fan to Argento, I have been for many years and I think I can say without any doubt that this isn't the worst Argento film, but it comes close.
The things that bothered me were the atmosphere and those silly witches that show up from around the world who all look like stereotypical punk rockers from the 1980's.
This movie just didn't have that mystique that drew me into the first two films, Suspiria and Inferno.
I think Dario is probly a better writer than a director at this stage in life, because I just get the sense that this could have been more sincere and imaginative.
I also sense that the story for the third film was probly bigger than the limited resources could allow, but Dario still could have pulled it off, but in the end it falls kinda flat.
I have watched plenty of bad films and I get the crazy sense that Dario was channeling The Howling 2 when he filmed this, make of that what you will.
Asia holds the film together and keeps it on its wobbly toes, she is the best thing going for this film.
The so called witches in this were so over the top it was laughable, but there is plenty of blood and gore, being an Argento film after all
Back to the witches again...did I mention they looked and acted ridiculous?
Anywho, some people enjoyed this film a lot and some people just hated it, I am stuck in between.
It feels and looks like a Dario movie...and then again it doesn't.
Obviously get the unrated version if you really want to see everything for all its worth, including all the nudity and a spear (very much like the one in Phenomena) is used to kill a woman in a very ummm...well just watch and see.
Speaking of nudity, not that it bothers me, but I do believe Dario really went crazy with it a lot more than usual.
I don't know what else to say except imagine if the final Lord of the Rings film had been made for TV or was direct to video...that's what this felt like.
Maybe Dario waited too long to make this and should have done it sooner?
I would have given this only two stars but I love the films of Dario Argento so much, I am a little bit biased.
Of course just watch it and decide for yourself.
In the meantime I will stick with the older films that mean alot more to me.
I am just so bummed out that the Story of the Three Mothers had to end in such a weak way.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
There are an awful lot of negative reviews here for Dario Argento's Mother of Tears, the very long anticipated conclusion to Argento's Three Mothers trilogy that began with Suspiria in 1977, and continued with Inferno in 1980. The point here is that if you love Argento's work, you'll either love what Mother of Tears has to offer, or you'll hate it and not deem it worthy in comparison to Suspiria, or to a lesser extent Inferno. Argento once again employs his daughter Asia in the lead role of Sarah Mandy, an art student who becomes the target of the resurrected Mater Lacrimarum (Moran Atias), and soon enough, evil witches gather and waves of chaos ensue in Rome. Sarah luckily has her own dormant psychic powers to aide her in her quest to stop the evil from further spreading, culminating in many montages of psychotic and bloody violence. As said before, Mother of Tears can't compare to Suspiria, but the film is plenty enjoyable on its own merits regardless. Argento is still a master at his craft, and there is some great camerawork and gorgeous cinematography to behold. The practical effects scenes of ultra-gory violence are pretty effective as well (except for the scene where a mother drops her infant child over the side of a bridge and the dummy's arm pops off before hitting the water), despite the fact that some of the CGI-based effects don't always work quite well. The acting ranges from decent to dreadful, but the unsettling atmosphere somehow manages to make up for it. All in all, Mother of Tears is certainly flawed, and is certainly no Suspiria (or Inferno), but it still manages to be an entertaining and unsettling ride that displays that Argento still has the tools that made him a master of the horror genre in the first place.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mother of Tears (Dario Argento, 2007)
My first thought upon finishing this movie was "we waited twenty-seven years for this?". My second was "I'd be more than willing to wait another twenty-seven if we could get a movie as good as Suspiria, or even one as good as Inferno, out of this mess." The problem being, of course, that the intervening quarter-century and change has obviously disrupted Argento's thought processes on the Three Mothers, and what's left is the cheesiness of the first two movie, but without any of the atmosphere that made the first film brilliant and the second watchable, if not classic.
If you've seen a few Argento films, you know the drill here. Through machinations we see in the first few minutes, an urn is delivered to an art museum in Rome. One of the workers there, assisted by art student Sarah Mandy (Asia Argento), decides to open it. Mandy cuts her finger in the process and drips blood onto the cape contained therein, beginning the resurrection of Mater Lachrimarum, the third mother of the title. Immediately, people start going crazy in Rome, unleashing a tide of violence and mayhem, as Lachrimarum gathers an inner circle of worshipers, most of whom seem to be nubile young things who have an overweening fondness for eighties fashions. Since Sarah started this all, she feels a duty to finish it as well, and finds herself helped by supernatural powers she was unaware she had.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Of course it does; it's pretty standard Argento, but without any of the trappings that made so many of Argento's films such treats to watch. The director seems to have phoned this one in, drawing liberally from the work of inferior directors who were influenced by Argento back in the day (particularly Lamberto Bava; substitute a church for a movie theater and the bulk of this film comes straight from Demons). A depressing, if somewhat unsurprising, conclusion to the Three Mothers trilogy. Go rent Suspiria again instead. **
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2008
WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT DARIO ARGENTOS' WORK TO SOMEONE WHOSE NEVER SEEN IT? ARGENTO IS ONE OF THE FEW MOTION PICTURE DIRECTORS THAT CREATES HIS OWN NIGHTMARE WORLD.A WORLD OF SMOKE AND SHADOW TINTED IN THE CRIMSON RED OF BLOOD . A TRUE ARTIST THAT HAS MADE SEVERAL BENCHMARK HORROR AND GIALLO FILMS . NO FILM BETTER EXPRESSES THE VISION OF THE ARTIST THAN "SUSPIRA" . THAT FILM INTRODUCED HORROR FANS TO THE 3 MOTHERS , THE MOTHER OF SIGHS , THE MOTHER OF DARKNESS AND NOW THE FINAL OF THE TRILOGY "THE MOTHER OF TEARS" . THESE THREE WITCHES HAVE LONG PLOTTED MANKINDS DEMISE . THE FIRST TWO WITCHES WERE DISPATCHED IN THE FILMS " SUSPIRA " AND "INFERNO". THIS THE THIRD AND FINAL OF THE TRILOGY .THIS MOTHERS INFLUENCE IS MORE FAR REACHING AS THE MOTHER OF TEARS IS BY FAR THE MOST DANGEROUS OF THE 3 SISTERS . A WORLDWIDE EPIDEMIC OF EVIL IS SET OFF WHEN THE RESTING PLACE OF THE MOTHER OF TEARS IS DISTURBED AND AWAKENS HER . ASIA ARGENTO IS THE DAUGHTER OF A " GOOD WITCH" AND THE LAST PERSON ABLE TO UPSET THE CHAIN OF EVENTS LEADING TO A NEW DARK AGE . WHILE NOT AS BEAUTIFUL AS SUSPIRA ( THE MOST EMPIRICALLY BEAUTIFUL HORROR FILM EVER MADE ) THE FILM SUMS UP THINGS NICELY . RECOMMENDED .
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2012
The editorial pretty much sums things up pretty well. If one were to remove Argento's name from the credits this film would come off as a mediocre scyfy channel production, but sadly Argento's name is all over this one, there's simply no excuse. Some trilogies are better left undone. Gone are the masterful shots with extraordinary primary colors, wonderful music and nightmarish imagery. Gone too is our concern for the lead role. The film is too bright and little is done to promote anything but the flattest of visual interest. The acting is poor, Asia Argento's performance is weak and more annoying than pulling to warrant any sympathy towards her. She is simply a vehicle to get from one lowly scene to the next. We're given only glimpses into her past and motivations, but these are forced upon us through dodgy dialog in a rushed fashion. Scenes of this kind should carry some cinematic weight to them, but are shot in much the same manner as a mentos commercial. The direction is completely phoned in. To hear Dario speak of the passions he had for the previous two installments, it's no wonder Suspiria and Inferno were so expressive and unique. Mother of Tears is anything but... it fails to make us feel anything for the characters, and those we are inclined to like, live only minutes. The film cannot sell us on it's own premise... even as Rome is meant to be falling apart with evil, we see only the weakest of visual examples (a few thugs beating a car)and some awful cgi fires. The murder scenes themselves are pretty well done, but there is little else in this film that would suggest Argento had anything to do with it. It should be an embarrassment to him. It's worth seeing to complete the trilogy. Most have tempered their anticipation with this one, but even that isn't enough.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2009
I am a huge fan of Dario Argento's. He and George A. Romero are my favorite horror film directors. I have been generally disappointed by Argento's post-Opera work, most of which has been mediocre to deeply awful. The only latter day film of his I liked was Trauma. This is the long awaited conclusion to the "mothers" trilogy (based on a work by Thomas de Quincey), and I regret to say that I really hated it.
Most of Argento's work has little to no character development, generally poor acting, and wooden dialogue, but his sets, use of color, camera movement, use of music, lighting, etc., etc., are what makes his best films great. He did that superlatively from Four Flies on Grey Velvet (the best of his animal trilogy) through Opera. Then he just lost it, and this film confirms that. The acting here is terribly wooden, the dialogue is laughable, the plot is confusing (despite being told in a linear fashion), the lighting is very dull, the gore is ridiculously over the top (especially the first murder, where Argento is trying to top the murder scene in Suspiria, but fails miserably), and the film is ridiculous at times.
Udo Kier's character appears in one scene and immediately gets killed, there's a ridiculous lesbian makeout scene thrown in, a pyschotic monkey that is mostly cute, not scary, fight scenes that look amateurish, a gang of "witches" who look like they stepped out of Argento's Demons films from the 1980's (and are unintentionally funny), and Asia's central performance is quite dull (even though she has a very enigmatic presence on screen). There is one decent performance by the chief inspector (who has some funny lines and goofy mannerisms), and there's a good chase scene in a train station, but that's it. The ending is ridiculous as well.
I wasn't expecting a copy of Suspirira or Inferno (the first two Mothers films), but I wasn't expecting this piece of junk either. It's a really disappointing film from a director who has seen better days. I gave the film two stars mostly out of respect to Argento's previous work.
Man, I feel like crap now.