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DVD Review

Mother of Tears (La Terza Madre)


Starring: Asia Argento, Daria Nicolodi and Moran Atias
Optimum Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 21 April 2008

When an ancient urn is uncovered, it is sent to a priest in Rome for study. However, it is illicitly opened by subordinates, who unwittingly release the Mother of Tears, the last survivor of a powerful trio of immortal witches. As unexplained violence breaks out all over the city, an art student is reluctantly drawn into the mystery - only to discover that the manner of her mother's death was a lie, and that she herself harbours latent supernatural powers...

Mother of Tears is a curious contradiction in terms of both style and being an anachronism. This retro feel has you believing you're watching a Hammer and a Grindhouse movie rolled into one, but without the gratuitous gore of the latter.

You could be forgiven for thinking it pre-dates the 1970s. The acting is atrocious; quite frankly, you could have pulled more talented unknowns off the street. However, the direction, as you would expect from established horror maestro Dario Argento (Suspiria, Inferno, Demons, and even one of the recent Masters of Horror episodes) is extremely professional. The pacing is smooth without being frenetic, and the majority of scenes are concise, with no unnecessary over-running.

In our so-called enlightened modern times, we've all come to expect endings with at least one twist and two epilogues. Mother of Tears seems to hark back to more innocent times. The final scene runs its course and, abruptly, the credits rolls, with no character reaction to events witnessed.

The feel of this movie plays rather similar to The Omen, without ever reaching those heady heights. It is entertaining in its own way, and generates at least one genuine scare (employing a trick used in An American Werewolf in London).


Ty Power

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