Dario Argento is considered one of the greatest horror visionaries of all time. Often referred to as the Italian Hitchcock, his movies had style and substance and he was a trailblazer of “Giallo” film movement. None of that is on display in MOTHER OF TEARS.
Like John Carpenter, his early work is near flawless, with masterpieces such as THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (1970), DEEP RED (1975) and SUSPERIA (1977). These films helped define Italian horror and are timeless classics of suspense horror. But in later years, Argento’s films have slipped farther and farther into the abyss of the uninspired.
MOTHER OF TEARS is touted as the third of the “Mother” Trilogy that began with SUSPERIA and was followed by INFERNO (1980). There is absolutely nothing to recommend here. The film lacks any of Argento’s signature camera style or lighting and the characterization and plot are simply abysmal, even laughable at times.
Argento never shied away from extreme violence, even at time reveling in gore but the films were pieces of art and somehow warranted this Grand Guignol approach. In MOTHER OF TEARS it seems perversely over-the-top and excessive with no real rationale for it other than to shock.
Having been disappointed with Argento’s work for well over two decades, I was hoping that this would have been his return to form given that it was the dénouement of his famous series. It feels more like a bad Harry Potter-rip off by an Argento wanna-be and honestly I was just bored to tears.