Tuesday, October 08, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 8 - Movie 3

Asia Argento is Sarah, an art student working for a museum in Rome, when she opens an ancient urn containing a ceremonial cloak, dagger, and three statues representing the three mothers. Opening this urn sets off a growing chain of horrible events including mass violence and suicides by the citizens of Rome. Sarah soon finds herself pursued by the police and witches who have begun arriving in Rome in vast numbers to carry out the wicked plans of the Mother of Tears. Sarah also finds herself guided by the spirit of her deceased mother and the possessor of magic powers of her own. Everything drives her to a final showdown with the Mother of Tears.

Dario Argento's "The Three Mothers" trilogy concludes with Mother of Tears (2007), which follows a 27 year gap since the previous entry, Inferno. Mother of Tears is a much more polished movie and even feels bigger in scale, but is a lot less stylish. Gone for the most part are the Bavaesque lighting effects and a musical score that startles and works its way through the film like it's an antagonist in itself. The bizarre, seemingly disconnected events of the first two movies are also present here, but they aren't as deranged and memorable as in Suspiria. They also feel a lot more logical here. Masses of books are ever present in almost every scene, and are the main component of the art direction.

A similar problem to Inferno is that the interaction between Sarah and any other character is so fleeting that it makes it a challenge for the viewer to feel connected to them. Also, the idea that she has her own magical powers seems a bit forced, and nothing ever comes of it. My final criticism, and it's an important one, is that the Mother of Tears is made out to be the nastiest witch of the three mothers, and the wave of violence that washes over Rome supports this, but at the climax she comes off as pretty innefectual. The end, while spectacular, comes so suddenly and easily, and without and sense of stakes or tension, that it's a let down. For all of my complaints, I overall did enjoy Mother of Tears, and found the entire trilogy to be rather unique in the genre.

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