Home invasions are low hanging fruit for horror movies. It’s one of those timeless fears: What if a bunch of dudes break into your house, your sanctuary, the place where you’re safe and relaxed, and have their way with you? It’s the ultimate “what if they get in here?” scenarios. One of the earliest home invasion movies I know is the original Desperate Hours with Humphrey Bogart, which holds up well even if it has a charming civility as far as home invasions go. Among the worst recent ones I’ve seen are Trespass, which isn’t a home invasion movie so much as a Nicolas Cage movie, and Secuestrados (Kidnapped, in English), which is the sort of tasteless pointless stylish trash that gives good horror movies a bad name. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d go with Paul Andrew Williams brilliant brutal Cherry Tree Lane, which isn’t available in the US yet. Someone get on that. It is the Straw Dogs of the 21st century.
Until that time, there’s Mother’s Day, not to be confused with the original Troma film it’s supposedly based on. Speaking of trash. The original Mother’s Day was one of those gross 70s rape movies that recreates the feeling of stumbling across Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s porn stash. But this remake — which is absolutely not a remake — is a mean lean smart script about colliding systems. On one hand, a veritable beer commercial of good-looking fun-loving privileged friends. On the other hand, the eponymous mother and her brood of mismatched white trash kids. A literal and figurative tornado is brewing.
Briana Evigan, recently locked in a house with a tiger in Burning Bright (get it?), is locked in a house with a whole other kind of tiger this time. The icy menacing Rebecca De Mornay isn’t mad; she’s just disappointed. She’s like the crocodile in Black Water, just waiting, watching, keeping her prey in place until she’s ready to either pounce or saunter off. It could go either way. She’s as sexy as she was in Risky Business, as dangerous as she was in Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and as sexy as she was in Risky Business. Did I mention that she’s sexy? With an unlikely brood at her beck and call — wait, she had all those kids? — she is the biggest baddest wolf since Cate Blanchett in Hannah.
Mother’s Day is out on DVD this week.