May 29, 2024

Mother, May I? 2023 Movie Review

Mother, May I
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Mother, May I? 2023 Movie Review

Actually, the death of his mother Emmett ( Kyle Gallner ) should have touched him very deeply, but even during the cremation he can’t help but watch what’s happening apathetically like an observer. His fiancee Anya ( Holland Roden) worries about him because of this, mainly because he still hasn’t gotten over his relationship with his mother. She was so powerful and dominant in Emmett’s life that it was a liberating moment for him to leave home and start a new life. Because of this fact, he is taken aback when he hears that his mother has left him her property, a converted barn, which is idyllically situated near a forest and a small lake. Since this place holds too many painful memories for Emmett, he wants to sell the property as soon as possible, even if Anya tries to persuade him to keep it as her country home. Unable to change his mind, she begins role-playing with Emmet, in which they start a conversation about their problems and emotional states and then take on the role of the other person. While Emmett can mirror the way he acts, it needs something radical, so the idea of ​​throwing in some mushrooms suits both her and Emmett.

The episode has some creepy side effects, however, because while Emmett gets away with a hangover, Anya transforms into his mother right before his eyes. She adopts more and more of their behaviors with each lesson, begins to smoke and controls Emmett in the way he knew from his childhood and youth. He’s aware that he has to free her, but then he’s also not sure if it’s not one of those role-playing games that Anya wants to use to lure him out of his reserve.

The fact that horror and thriller cinema can be used to address socio-political issues is what characterizes many genre contributions and makes them interesting. Screenwriter and director Laurence Vannicelli has shown with his works such as The Young Horsefly or Porn – Demonic Seduction that he masters the keyboard of genre cinema on the one hand, but at the same time is interested in these other narrative levels. In Mother, May I? , which can currently be seen in the program of the Fantasy Filmfests Nights , is primarily about toxic relationships and psychological disorders.

First of all, fans of effect cinema should say that Mother, May I? definitely not one of those films that will score with audiences on this level. Even if there are a few shocking moments in the second half, Vannicelli is primarily concerned with the atmosphere, which can be seen in aspects such as the pictures taken by cameraman Craig Harmeras well as the sound design can see. Vannicelli directs an intimate play that takes place most of the time in the lavish estate of Emmet’s late mother, which alternately acts as a welcome home and then again as a prison for the two main characters. What is interesting here is that the staging does not rely on tricks such as flashbacks to shed light on the relationship between the couple or between the son and the mother. Through drama, hints, or details like the home videos that Anya encounters on her first exploration, the viewer gets a picture of the family, the mechanisms of control, the moments of emotional withdrawal, and the various ways of emerging from conflict released. Mother, May I?may have a slow narrative pace, but it does provide a very detailed and disturbing picture of hierarchies in relationships.

The acting performances are on the same high level as the staging. Both Kyler Gallner and Holland Roden play convincing characters who, despite all the role-playing games, do not deal honestly with their feelings and desires and thus make themselves more and more vulnerable to the other or the powers that (possibly) still reside within the walls of the family property condition. The idea of ​​role-playing is an interesting variety that has already featured in genre contributions such as The Lodge by Veronika Franz and Severin Fialacould use effectively for themselves. It is never clear to the characters or the viewers who is actually pretending to whom, whether what is being said is the truth or whether it is just a sophisticated set of lies, devised to protect against unpleasant memories and what power they could give to the people sitting across from us.

“Mother, May I?” is an exciting, cleverly staged and acted mix of horror film and thriller. Laurence Vannicelli’s film is told slowly but effectively, takes his time with his characters and leaves the viewer in the dark as to what is truth and what isn’t.

Mother, May I? 2023 Movie Review