This is one creepy mother!

Metro Canada (Toronto) - - CANADA -

At the core of its dis­turbed and pound­ing heart, Dar­ren Aronof­sky’s mother! is an ex­treme hor­ror movie with a top Hol­ly­wood cast.

Those who haunt mid­night cin­ema will rec­og­nize fa­mil­iar tropes: a re­mote house in the woods, a threat­ened woman, strange sounds and jump scares, vis­ceral en­gage­ment with the eye, ear and mind. Yet fa­mil­iar doesn’t have to mean con­ven­tional.

Head­ing straight from TIFF to mul­ti­plexes, mother! be­gins as one type of movie; it con­cludes as some­thing else al­to­gether. A feel­ing of quiet dread at the out­set, shades of Ro­man Polan­ski, in­ex­orably pro­ceeds to­ward a shat­ter­ing fi­nale. There should at least be a warn­ing that view­ers will bear wit­ness to truly aw­ful things. The film­maker’s cau­tion that it’s all meant as an al­le­gory about cre­ation and the artis­tic im­pulse will be small com­fort to the squea­mish.

Di­rec­tor Aronof­sky ratch­ets up the ten­sion by de­gree, em­ploy­ing claus­tro­pho­bic cam­er­a­work and a sound de­sign that slowly turns from min­i­mal to max­i­mal.

The cen­tral four ac­tors ex­pertly main­tain sus­pense. With the ex­cep­tion of Jennifer Lawrence’s char­ac­ter, whose dis­com­fi­ture with her house guests is ev­i­dent, it’s im­pos­si­ble to dis­cern what’s re­ally go­ing on be­hind all those friendly smiles.

There’s no quick way to de­scribe this film, which trans­fixes the mind while re­pelling the senses. You can’t un­see this stuff — and you might well wish you could.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.