Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival: Mother of Tears (2007)

The 26th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) is an annual event that is as old as I am and usually goes on for more than 2 weeks. I have never attended it and even now I don’t believe I have experienced it as it should be or in its full glory.

Nevertheless, I have been initiated now. Seen my taste of gory dressed (as entertainment for the crowd) freaks (who are volunteers at the festival).

The movie I got to see was a horror movie by Dario Argento called

Mother of Tears: the third mother. It’s a genre I’m not familiar with, cause it’s not really my thing – and this one is … well, acting and words are not very important in this kind of genre, now is it? Gory scenes, excessive nudity and much running and screaming in alleys and abandoned houses is what it all comes down to.

It’s the third in the Mother trilogy, that started about 20 years ago. After the Mother of Shadows and the Mother of Sighs, you get this one. It so seems they always come in three’s, these prophecy thingies.

Now what is interesting to know about this festival, is that the people in the audience are not afraid to voice their opinion (loudly) and scream at the characters on the screen. As in the opening of the urn (cause there is always an urn that is ceiled, and which of course some curious and impatient somebody has to open instantly – to hell with the accompanying letter that we will leave unopened and warnings that might be in it be damned!!!), the crowd yelled at the screen “don’t open the dreaded thing you damn woman!” and when of course 3 demons come out of the statues of which she so dumbly read the names out loud in an overly exaggerated fashion, they come to beat her senseless in ways I do not even dare to depict here… well, a lot of “I told you so”‘s followed that scene.

The lead character was played by Dario Argento’s daughter, Asia. She did have something. And she caught your eye, she wasn’t bland but natural… though it saddens me to say so, but she could deliver some lines very badly as well. When she saw the ghost of her dead mother (played by her real mother and ex-wife of Dario) – who was killed trying to destroy the Mother of Tears, she said her lines so unconvincingly. It was sad, when you know she is saying it to her mother. (Get’s confusing when I write mother in each line, doesn’t it?) I mean, you’d imagine her feeling the words, making them her own cause she could imagine it saying to her real mother… and still, it sounded empty, unreal and childlike. A pity cause such things break the beat of a movie and as a viewer, your interest and investment in the story declines.

I wouldn’t entirely break down this movie… between the unconvincing acting at times, the not that strong script (“I have magic abilities and I never knew it – I will have to save the world now”) and the predictable elements, it did have something. Me, who scares and jumps up easily, had difficulty with some scenes. Too bloody for my taste. But it is not a film you can take seriously. Before the movie was viewed, the audience was spoken to by one of the hosts of BIFFF and said that this movie would only be shown here cause it would not be viewed in any theatre in Belgium. As the loud and funny audience (to me at least – but they were cruel during the entire viewing I have to say) remarked at the end of the movie: we know why it’s going straight to DVD.


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