Francesa Kinsolving, a very pregnant widow whose husband was recently killed in action in Vietnam, travels to visit her late husband's mother in a snowy Minnesota town only to get snowed in...
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Francesa Kinsolving, a very pregnant widow whose husband was recently killed in action in Vietnam, travels to visit her late husband's mother in a snowy Minnesota town only to get snowed in during a fierce blizzard where she's forced to wait it out only to slowly uncover some terrible dark secrets that Mrs. Kinsolving has been hiding, one of them is her psychotic other son, a recent escapee from a lunatic asylum, who is shacked up in the basement of the house.Written by
Filmed at the Congdon Mansion in Duluth, MN. After the murder of mansion owner and prominent heiress Elisabeth Congdon in 1977, a movie theatre in Duluth revived the movie at midnight showings (much to the chagrin of the Congdon family). See more »
The closing credits roll down instead of up. See more »
"You'll Like My Mother" has Patty Duke as Francesca, a pregnant widow who travels from California to the snowy backwoods of Minnesota in the dead of winter to meet her mother-in-law. She gets more than she bargained for however, and finds herself not only stranded there, but in great danger.
One of many seemingly forgotten horror-thriller offerings from the early seventies, this inconspicuously-titled chiller is severely underprivileged in terms of audience, to the point that it's been mistakenly labeled as a television film (it wasn't). Its snowy backwoods setting is phenomenal, and the film reaps a chilling and claustrophobic atmosphere from it throughout. Adding to the ambiance is the main setting—a secluded, ornate manor house—which acts as an oppressive force in and of itself, concealing family secrets as well as housing key scenes in the film.
The film sets it self up for sinister happenings from the outset, with Patty Duke innocuously asking her bus driver about her husband's family. "Kinsolving?" he asks, as if he believes her to be mistaken. "Oh, yeah, yeah, I know the Kinsolvings," he unconvincingly adds. It's minor, subtle moments like these—many of which are found in Duke's and Rosemary Murphy's performances—that make the film so unnerving. The audience knows something's not quite right from minute one, and the film is an exercise in ratcheting atmosphere and tension from there on out. Duke is likable as the doe-eyed, well-meaning widow, and Murphy is ice-cold as her unreceptive (among other things) mother-in-law. The increasing tension between the two actresses is nearly palpable.
Overall, "You'll Like My Mother" is an under-seen thriller marked by solid performances, eerie use of landscape and cinematography, and a consistently suspenseful plot. A worthwhile effort, and one of the better (and more unusual) snowbound horror films to come of the late twentieth century. 9/10.
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