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1/10
Reprehensibly bad, one of Argento's worst movies and a pitiful wrap up to the "Three Mothers" trilogy
squeezebox30 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
MOTHER OF TEARS sucks. It's one of the worst movies I've seen in years. The fact that it was made by Dario Argento surprises me despite the fact that Argento has made more than his fair share of stinkers.

Sure, there are a few decent moments. A demon screaming into a phone until his jaw is impossibly extended is a creepy image, Sara descending a staircase into "Hell" is atmospheric and Argento delivers one good jolt with the old "did I really wake up or am I still dreaming" gag. But these scattered effective moments are crushed underneath a movie that looks like it was shot by a fanboy trying to make a movie like Dario Argento.

Asia Argento, who is a decent actress, is embarrassingly bad here. Her performance is so wooden and monotone she looks like just showing up to the set everyday was enough of a chore. Most other performances are lousy as well. The dependable Udo Kier fares the best in the role of a priest who shows up just long enough to spout out a few convoluted lines of dialog which connect this movie to SUSPIRIA and INFERNO before being hacked to death.

And that brings up the already infamous gore. MOTHER OF TEARS is likely to forever have a place in horror history as "one of the goriest movies ever made," but that honor is obligatory at best. Yeah, there are several outlandishly gruesome set-pieces, but they are all taken to such an extreme that they become ridiculous rather than horrifying. A woman being disemboweled and then choked with her own intestines is unintentionally funny, more like Peter Jackson's work in DEAD ALIVE than the surreal horror of SUSPIRIA. The scene is also not helped by the fact that the "intestines" look more like industrial extension cords than actual innards (even more so in an equally absurd moment in which a woman's intestines are being sucked out through her anus).

A monkey which serves as a familiar to the Mother is sort of creepy at first, but when it kept showing up and screeching it started to grate on my nerves. Even more irritating is Sara's mother's ghost, who repeatedly materializes to give her advice, even after telling her it's the last time she'll be doing so. The special effect used to place her in front of Sara is so bad it was hard not to chuckle every time. Unfortunately the unintentional humor that may have made these scenes amusing is killed by the excruciating banality of their dialog.

Worst of all, however, is the Mother herself. Turns out the "Queen of All Evil" is a runway model with fake boobs. She's about as scary as Paris Hilton. Maybe this is why the only witches who show up to honor her are the ones who wear ten pounds of make-up and have no fashion sense. For a secret society these ladies sure haven't nailed down the art of inconspicuousness. Argento apparently thinks all witches dress like Madonna circa 1985. And I expected it to take just slightly more to vanquish the Mother than to simply throw her T-shirt on the fire.

If this was just a random movie, with no connection to two of the most unique and surreal horror movies ever made, then MOTHER OF TEARS might be fun in a PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE sort of way. As the final entry in an intended trilogy, however, this movie is inexcusably awful.
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4/10
Dear Dario,
doctorprogress16 June 2008
I know this is going to be hard for you to hear, but I have to get this off of my chest: I'm leaving you.

We had a good run for years, but now its time to move on. I'm not going to patronize you by using the tired "its not you - its me" cliché. In fact, it IS you. You've changed, and I'm not in love with your movies anymore.

In the early days, we had a blast. Your films were artistic, original, vibrant, gory and scary. They were lush with complex themes woven into horror films that broadened my mind...

In the Eighties, we had a rocky period. Your films became sloppy and convoluted. Yes, the honeymoon was over - but we still stuck it out. I had faith that we (you) could work through this and get back in the game.

Towards the end of the millennium, you did have your flashes of brilliance - glimpses of our blissful beginnings... Sadly, as I now see, those were merely the final stages of your decline. Your brief and violent death throes before truly going off the rails.

I am writing to you now after seeing "Mother of Tears." I had such high hopes for us again!! All the planets were aligned: Late night screening - full house - open mind - belly full of tequila and lime... and the NEW DARIO ARGENTO FILM!!! What could possibly go wrong! Then it starts... Gore right off the bat! Then witches!! THEN a very wicked little monkey!! This is going to be great!

Then... oh god, then.... I'm not sure when it started exactly, but at some point pretty early on the plot twisted off into nowhere - followed shortly thereafter by any pretense of acting. I mean - I love a b-flick, but this was just pathetic. Especially when you know everyone can do better. (Oh, Udo, my secret Lover... Why? WHY???)

What bothers me the most was that it seemed that you, Dario - the once great horror maestro- didn't care about this one. Where was the signature color palate? Why would you let the one of the brilliant Goblin boys write one great Argento-esquire piece, followed by half an hour of hackery?

I hate to say it, but after your last three flops - I'm done. Thanks for the great years, Dario, but you and I are through.

We'll always have the 70's, my Love. And I will remember them, and you, fondly. Good bye, Dario.
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5/10
Let's just pretend this didn't happen...
This was one of the biggest disappointments for me in a long time.

If you've ever heard the name Dario Argento - it's probably because in 1977 he crafted one of the most stylish and genuinely creepy horror movies of all time, called "Suspiria". It's one of my personal favorite movies of all time, from one of my favorite directors. If you can appreciate horror, or even if you can't but you're an open minded person, I suggest you give SUSPIRIA an hour and a half of your life because it's unlike any other horror experience you will ever have.

SUSPIRIA was intended to be the first movie in a series of three, known as the "Three Mothers Trilogy". After Argento's crowning achievement, he did the 2nd in the series in 1980 which was called "Inferno". Although Inferno was just as stylish and just as mysterious, it was not quite as effective or fulfilling as Suspiria in the end. Yet, it is still a bizarre cult classic. The soundtrack from Keith Emerson is probably even better than the movie itself.

Anyways...Argento decided to hold off from finishing off the trilogy, and ended up holding off for 30 YEARS..., so finally in 2007 he decided it was time to create the finale, The Mother of Tears.

What can I say? There are maybe one or two gratuitous murders that are worthy of the Argento name, specifically the very first in the movie which comes out of nowhere and may have you clenching your mouth to make sure your teeth are still there. It is always lovely to see Argento bringing back actors and actresses from classic Italian horror films - in this case it's Coralina Cataldi from his awesome 1987 film, Opera, and the roller-coaster ride that is DEMONS 2.

Aside from a few memorable deaths, this movie really has almost NOTHING to offer. It is nice to see someone making movies about black magic, demons, and sorcery since no one else really does that anymore. The concepts are wonderful but unfortunately NOTHING is pulled off effectively here.

For one, the CGI totally abolishes the legitimacy of the movie. It's some of the cheesiest CGI i've had to bare with in some time. I figured Argento would be smarter than this - but then again, he is getting really, really old...

Asia Argento (the director's daughter and lead actress) can act but she isn't given much to work with here. The script, as usual with Argento's films, is the weakest part. The dialogue is far too basic to keep your emotions invested in the characters. No one else stands out as a particularly great performer either.

The saddest thing of all is that the movie completely lacks atmosphere. The setting and atmosphere was always the absolute BEST part of the director's classic films. And the fact that one of my favorite bands of all time, Goblin, provided the majority of soundtracks heavily added to that. But they've been out of the picture since his 2001 movie, Sleepless. The sets were completely plain and in no way stand out. I appreciated the shots of the creepy old mansion like building towards the very end, but even that building looked fake and CGI-induced...and it was clear that it was not actually filmed there - which took a lot away from the entire finale.

The finale was probably the most depressing part. It felt extremely rushed, and aside from that, the "lead villain" who is supposed to be "the most evil of the three mothers" was SO half assed. A good looking chick with nice tits and some black make up around her eyes?????? c'mon!!!!!!! what IS this?!?!?! I wanted to laugh at it but was way too saddened by the film overall to have a good time with it. And then all of a sudden, it's over...

I was so let down!

I guess I'll have to depend on Asia Argento to make good movies instead from now on. Her last one, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, was a masterpiece of it's own kind!!! See it!
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7/10
MOT: a twisted fairy tale for our modern times!
guigui-paul3 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Following the positive experiences of JENIFER and PELTS for the "Masters of Horror" TV series,MOTHER OF TEARS/LA TERZA MADRE received the typically mixed reviews for a Dario Argento work: People liked the film,or they disliked it,but very few of them were indifferent at the experience of watching MOTHER OF TEARS!

True,the last chapter of the Mater trilogy is a very different "beast" in comparison to SUSPINFERNO:

this time Argento doesn't repeat the totally surreal,colorful,abstract dream worlds of SUSPINFERNO but the director instead throws his viewer into our modern urban world.

In fact,MOT offers itself as a clever metaphor of the end of our days,our regular apocalypse.

The "second fall of Roma",as shown in the film, isn't the fake,typical "CGI-zed" apocalypse view of the world that you can see in many horror films like DAWN OF THE DEAD 2004 or 28 WEEKS LATER,but it is rather the daily,sad and gruesome chaos and madness that we can see in our every day lives: People beating and killing each other,rape,mothers killing their children,suicides,racism,etc.

If MOT is of course a (crazy!) fairy tale,the film has overall a more "down to earth" and tongue in cheek,ironic approach to its subject:

The characters in the film (especially Sarah,Michael and Marta) are likable human beings,they are slightly more defined than the puppets of SUSPIRIA and especially INFERNO...the relation between Sarah and her dead mother is also somewhat touching,and subtly linked to the past life of the Argento's family. The "baddies" in the film are deliberately over the top,they are cackling,"punk" witches who are governed by a sexy top model who enjoys her catwalk,the beautiful Moran Atias!

As usual with Argento,the use of locations (old buildings,streets,museum,book shop,station,catacombs...) in the film is really striking,also nicely enhanced by the use of 2:35 cinematography...there are also some nice use of moving cameras,from the opening shot in the cemetery to the beautiful and "argentoesque" long Steadycam shot when Sarah finds the Mater's lair. There's nothing here as spectacular as the crows's scene in OPERA or the carpet crawl in SLEEPLESS,but Argento's direction is quite solid,with its nice use of frame compositions and editing (see the first Roma's fall scene,for example!)

The opening scene in the museum,the incredibly nasty "TENEBRAEesque" scene with the likable lesbians and the night taxi ride/Mater's house's scene are really effective set-pieces that easily rank among the best set-pieces in the glorious career of Argento.

Frederic Fasano's camera-work in the film is also good,but unlike the "Technicolor Disney style" of SUSPIRIA and INFERNO,the film is shot in mostly cold,naturalistic and dark tones full of shadows,even if Fasano also delivers from time to time some welcomed and subtle bursts of vivid colors in the key "Mater" scenes set in the witch's lair.

The casting is quite good too,Asia Argento delivers an uneven but very physical,energetic performance,Adam James is a decent lead and it's always nice to see old legends of Euro cinema like Udo Kier,Coralina Cataldi Tassoni and Philippe Leroy doing some fun cameos.

The special effects from the great Sergio Stivaletti are mostly good and gory,delivering many effective nasty shocks in the murders's scenes.

Claudio Simonetti's music isn't as loud and memorable as SUSPIRIA and INFERNO's soundtracks,but it does the job very well and it is again a slightly different composition for the ex Goblin: full of electronic beats (remember IL CARTAIO?) but also with some lyrical,effective nods to Jerry Goldsmith,Bernard Herrmann,etc.

MOTER OF TEARS isn't a flawless film (Daria Nicolodi's character is questionable,the few CGI effects are quite average,the ending -like the one of SUSPIRIA- is a bit too rushed,...),but it is overall an enjoyable and touching tribute to Arts and especially to the sadly missed Italian "cinema de genre" from the 60's to the 80's:

There are lots of references in the film to Mario Bava,Lucio Fulci,Sergio Martino,Ruggero Deodato,Mario Caiano,Dario Argento (!),the "fumetti",Goya,Bosch,the 19th century painting,etc.

And finally,it's always a great pleasure to see that in 2008,a year where some opportunists directors like Rob Zombie or Alexandre Aja are somewhat considered like "Gods" by the young horror fans,an old cinema legend like Dario Argento is still breaking taboos and experimenting audacious,fun and personal stuff,with each one of his new work...
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1/10
The Mother of Rubbish: Broken Magic, Broken Movie
cosmosblack15 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I saw 'Mother of Tears' last Friday and left quite devastated. I went in excited but with low expectations knowing that the colorful visuals of the prior films (1977's Suspiria and 1980's Inferno) would not be replicated. Argento has been quoted that he wanted this one to have a realistic and brutal tone, unlike the dream-like surrealism of the previous two. The opening credits/score were actually pretty decent but sadly what followed wasn't.

Soon after a coffin with an urn inside is discovered near an Italian cemetery, Rome is threatened by the resurrection of the Mother of Tears and her evil little monkey. Meanwhile the viewer is assaulted by a movie that is so poorly written, acted, staged and as promised, without the trippy splendor of the director's heyday.

The first murder felt rushed and was not very shocking - the idea of it is vile (a woman having her teeth bashed out, stomach slit open and then being strangled by her intestines) but at the same time it feels filmed in a detached manner - no tension or atmosphere. Maybe it was the atrocious acting, the by-the-numbers pacing - but most of the time I felt like I was in one of those "haunted" houses around Halloween-time where the actors (and in this case the director) try too hard to shock and scare - and all one ends up with is indifference.

Then we are treated to a boring cat and mouse chase between Asia Argento's Sarah (probably the worst performance in a Dario Argento movie ever!) and the second coming of witches and these witches are not as elegant and well-spoken as Joan Bennett - no, these witches giggle and frolic around Rome like they escaped some bad 80's goth convention.

Early on, a woman throws her baby over the bridge and you see the arm pop off mid-way sans blood - what should be horrific is chuckle inducing. I know Argento was wanting to give this chapter a more realistic feel but is he kidding?!? This doesn't feel realistic at all. The fall of Rome just involves a few people fighting in the streets, those pesky 80's witches and a priest that conveniently notes there has been a rise in exorcisms as of late while Sarah hails cabs and conveniently runs through all the "chaos", going from one character to the next to learn more about her own special powers and the Mother of Tears and how all three films tie together - which is over-written and lazy. And we ultimately learn that Sarah's mum, Elise Mandy (first played by Daria Nicolodi in Inferno) was a powerful white witch and fought with Mater Suspirium from Suspiria. And when Elise comes back from the grave like Obi Wan, all Sarah can do is annoyingly scream, "Mommy! Mommy!". Oh, there is another dead baby in the second act also which is more realistic-looking but at this point it's so obvious that you are watching a movie and a bad one at that - that the image has no real shock or power.

Then after all the running around, we arrive to the conclusion where Sarah destroys the Mother of Tears by burning her gold glitter glue pink top deep within the catacombs of an old abandoned building and while trying to escape poor Sarah falls into a pit of goo, maggots, and skeletons ala 1985's Phenomena. There are a lot of winks like that to fans of his previous (and superior) films but I didn't go to 'Mother of Tears' for winks - I went hoping for the experience of a modern Italian horror masterpiece. What I got was a joke and a slap in the face to the previous films in the series.

And when Argento has fans as big as Tarantino - why the hell is he co-writing with the lame screenwriters that wrote Tobe Hooper's last two direct to DVD duds?? What the 'Mother of Tears' could have been. Such sweet sorrow.
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7/10
Not Suspiria, but a lot of fun
doug-6977 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw this movie at the Toronto International Film Festival and it's entertaining, gory fun. The movie begins with the unearthing of an ancient burial in Rome. The urn is taken to a lab for examination and when it's opened it brings some evil witches back to life. This starts an epidemic of evil across the city of Rome and the fun begins. It's not up there with some of the classics Dario Argento films, but I found it quite enjoyable (in the gruesome-Argento fashion) and it had a few genuine shocks which got a strong reaction from the audience. In fact, I can only think of one weak part of the movie. There's a long scene where the main character, played by Asia (Dario's daughter) is walking down these long series of basements and sub-basements searching for the witches who are causing all the trouble. It's a long scene which is clearly meant to add to the tension of the final scene that's coming. However, there's no music. The old Argento would have had some electro-pop soundtrack pounding away cranking up the tension. You would need a strong stomach with this movie, there's some pretty graphic violence and the Dario's proverbial maggots make an appearance. It's not Suspiria, but it's still a lot of fun.
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9/10
Thank you Dario..it was worth the wait!
gialli19 January 2008
An ancient urn is found on a Cemetery outside Rome.At the museum art student Sarah Mandy(Asia Argento)& Gisella Mares(Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni) opens it and unleashes the powerful witch Mater Lacrimarum.Murders,rapes and suicides goes like a plague all over the city.Its the start of the final installment in Dario Argento's Three Mother trilogy.First one Suspiria is from 1977 and second one is Inferno from year 1980.Both Suspiria and Inferno is two of my best horror films of all time so I expected a lot from this one.And I must say I am not disappointed. I tough La Terza Madre is a really fun ride all 98 minutes.I was never bored for a second.When I watch a film I want to get excited and never stop watching the screen and I must say this film fulfilled that. Not as colorfully as the other two classics but anyhow a good ending on the Three Mothers trilogy.Acting was OK but by far not excellent.Some of the dialog is a bit silly but hey its an Argento movie.Never been his strong side.Asia Argento does her part good.Music score by Claudio Simonetti is excellent and fits this film fine.The film is full of gore&violence and it reminds me of horror films from Italy in the seventies and early eighties.All shown in bloody detail.One of Dario Argento's most violent films ever.Some CGI-effects looks a bit cheap,but mostly the special- effects are very good.La Terza Madre is better than most horror films coming out these days.Thank you Dario,Asia and all the others involved in the film.I had a good time and already looking forward for next Argento film named Giallo.I give it 9/10.
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10/10
most memorable movie of the year
BettyChampagne30 August 2008
I hated this movie when I first saw it. It was a gross, violent and kind of stupid mess of a film... yet I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.

When the film let out, I turned to my friend and chided him that i would get him back for dragging me to this schlock, but the next day all i could think about was the movie... and three months later it's still the most intriguing movie i've seen all year! In particular, there is a scene in the movie where the lead actress walks through every floor in an abandoned building and all you can hear is the sound of her stiletto's echoing down the empty halls. The entire scene is shot in one take without a camera/film cut. The camera follows her up and down every stair and pans around her as she walk through each room... It has got to be one of the best scene's on film to-date! It was suspenseful, creepy and hauntingly beautiful.

If you're in the mood for an Italian horror movie(filmed in English) reminiscent of the cheap horror movies of the 70's, then this is the pic for you. Frankly, it was pretty cool!
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8/10
Argento's best since 'Suspiria'........seriously!
quiller17 September 2007
Who would think that, almost 40 years later, Argento has perfected his craft! Never has one of his films had acting so solid, storytelling so cohesive. It's also one of his scariest films, and the effects have never been better.

Upon the opening of a long-buried urn containing several ancient artifacts, a terror and chaos is unleashed upon Rome that soon becomes referred to as "the second fall". Asia Argento plays Sarah, a woman who works in a museum who is very skeptical of the occult, even after she discovers she has some exceptional powers. After witnessing a grizzly murder, the ominous kidnapping of a friend's son, and a group of witches that seem intent on killing her, she goes on a quest to find the cause behind the madness and discover the extent of the powers she has. Along the way she is aided by historians and priests, most notably Udo Kier who turns in a short but fun performance.

Meanwhile, in Rome and the Italian countryside, people are inexplicably committing suicide in large numbers, committing random acts of vandalism, or killing their friends and even children, as if guided by a malevolent invisible hand.

Although there is a bit of hammy dialog and a couple weaker characters (the detective, for one), most of the characters and dialog are believable, and the pacing is perfect. Still giving an artistic touch to the violence but employing a bit more realism, there are two kill scenes in particular that rival anything Argento has previously put on the screen. Along with 'Suspiria', 'Deep Red' and 'Opera', undoubtedly one of Argento's best.
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Red delights
chaos-rampant25 April 2008
As the opening credits rolled by in the midst of medieval drawings, I couldn't help but wonder to myself. Is this it? Could this be it? Is this the long awaited return of the undisputed king of horror to his rightful throne? All the marks were on the wall. Asia Argento returns to the fold, and so does Claudio Simonetti (the mastermind behind Goblin and their beautiful scores for Profondo Rosso, Tenebre and Suspiria among others), Daria Nicolodi (Profondo Rosso, Inferno, Tenebre, Opera and writer of Suspiria), Coralina Cataldi Tassoni (Opera), Udo Kier (Suspiria), Sergio Stivaletti (Argento's regular SFX man since Opera) and his brother Claudio Argento producing. As if this first class ensemble from the Argento universe wasn't enough, the first tracking shot through a graveyard and above a door screams Argento and I can't help but wonder. Is this really it? As the rest of the movie unfolds, the first thing that becomes quickly obvious is that La Terza Madre is definitely not a throwback to his colourful 70's days. This is neither Suspiria nor Inferno and perhaps Argento wisely decided to distance stylistically the closing chapter of his Three Mothers trilogy instead of emulating his vintage style (and risking failure?). The movie is decidedly darker, with a DV kind of look that brings to mind his last couple of works and subtle yet effective lighting that reminded me of Mario Bava circa Black Sabbath. Not a bad thing, aye? A medieval urn that is discovered in the cemetery of Viterbo heralds the coming of the Third Mother, the powerful witch Mater Lachrimarum. As Rome is plunged into utter chaos with people committing random acts of violence in the streets, Sarah Mandy (Asia Argento) is called to battle this ancient evil.

Story-wise La Terza Madre is typically Argento-ish. Occasionally nonsensical, with a relatively weak climax that doesn't mesh well with the build-up that leads up to it and very sketchy character development and motivation. But if you're a member of the Rosso Brigades and a sworn Argento hooligan you won't let that stop you. You never did, right? This is Argento and you don't expect profound drama from his idiosynchratic blood operas. That's not why you come back for more every time. You know his stories are mere skeletons for him to hang on his stunning imagery and violence. It's the style, the set pieces, the masterful way that visuals mesh with the score, the intricate build ups that lead to beautifully staged gore. You come to his movies for that pure cinema that no one else can deliver. You always did, right?

So will you find it here? I can safely say that yes... yes you will goddammit! Of course it is not Profondo Rosso and neither Suspiria or Tenebre, but for those who have followed his career closely the past 10 years that's hardly a big surprise. This is Argento2k. Visually darker but soaked in blood and entrails and atmospheric as all get out. There's an apocalyptic air about it and combined with Simonetti's decidedly more dark-wave score (it has evolved from the 70's in similar ways as Argento has visually), it manages to be chilling enough for most of the duration. Also this may very well be his most violent and gory film to date. There are several long drawn out death scenes, gruesome and stylish that will please every blood hound out there. And the atmosphere is as dark and nightmarish as one would expect from the subject matter. Closer to Sleepless than Suspiria overall, but definitely rewarding and head and shoulders above most Hollywood horrors this decade.

Now for the bad. I didn't like the CGI. It's not that it's badly done. Far from it actually. Compared to the horrible CGI of movies with 10 times its budget like I Am Legend and The Mist, La Terza Madre is OK. I just happen to think that CGI generally cheapens a movie. So there are moments that one may find a bit silly or cheesy (such as a spectral Daria Nicolodi hovering in the air), but not as bad as other efforts. Also the climax is a bit unrewarding. After a series of gruesome gore scenes the ending is a bit too hastily put together. And the Mother of Tears is just not menacing or chilling enough. Another actress (decidedly older) should have played the part in this reviewer's opinion. Also the dialogue and character decisions may appear a bit childish or nonsensical, but again that's something I can live with in an Argento movie.

As the ending credits rolled by I asked myself again. Is this it? Well... probably not. At least it is not a 70's throwback nor is it as monumental as Suspiria. It's the closure of old affairs with new style and attitude. Think how Sleepless upgraded his giallo style for the new millennium. La Terza Madre does the same for his supernatural horror. Personally speaking, I'm just glad he's still able to make a damn good horror movie. His 70's gems will always be there so the man gets carte blanche from me to take his style wherever he wants. As long as the results are this good I have no reason to complain. He's probably the last of the masters of horror from his generation that still has it in him. As far as I'm concerned, even mediocre Argento is better than 90% of today's horror. And this is very good Argento...
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7/10
More gore,less style in the final installment of Argento's "Three Mothers" trilogy.
HumanoidOfFlesh29 January 2008
Sarah Mandy,an American studying art restoration at the Museum of Ancient Art in Rome,examines an urn found at an ancient,decrepit grave near Viterbo.Bound within are the relics of a witch known as the Mother of Tears,Mater Lachrymarum.Breaking the seal heralds the return of the beautiful yet malefic sorceress' powers and Rome is plunged into chaos.A wave of suicides and crime sweeps over Italy's capital as witches congregate to pay homage to their reborn queen.Sarah must eventually discover her latent supernatural powers with the help of her deceased mother and confront Lachrymarum at the opulent Palazzo Varelli."The Third Mother" actually bears very little resemblance to "Suspiria" or "Inferno".The film is not as beautiful as the most famous Argento's works.The gore is pretty extreme and some killings are extremely vicious and bloody as hell."La Terza Madre" feels more like a Fulci film in so far that the narrative is only a vehicle to the gore scenes.Unfortunately some scenes are downright terrible with the use of awful CGI and the climax is weak and disappointing.Still I quite enjoyed this film and you should too if you are a fan of earlier works of Italian maestro.
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9/10
Magical Mother
eljomat26 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Take in mind this is mildly spoilerific and rambling. La Terza Madre (Watched in Italian with no subs). Oh where do I start....The film is MAGICAL. It IS a fairy tale, but not in the same sense of Suspiria and Inferno, more in that it is like those fairy tale adaptations that were seen in the 80's and 90's that I watched as a kid. Witches, demons, statues coming to life, magical powers, and good prevailing. The film is BEAUTIFUL. Sure colors only make a few appearances (but more than i thought), but the overall film has a glossy look, with some extremely muted blues (even more muted than the blues in Pheonema). The film was thankfully a bit grainy, and not too soft. The 2.35.1 just added to the experience. This is easily the best Argento since Stendhal. Asia is great, truly expressive, strong, and sympathetic. Valeria Cavalli gives a great performance. The rest of the cast really isn't that bad either. Jun Ichikawa ( one of my favorite Italian actresses) is great! The whole sequence in the train station was easily one of the best of the film, as Asia is chased to a daze by witches and cops. Jun gives a great overacting (though not annoyingly) albeit short performance. As I stated before, she has played strong, reserved quiet roles: widowed pirates, stern investigators, but as a metal toothed murderous witch she is wonderful!! Smiling, killing, laughing, and growling. She really steals her scene. Oh, and her head wasn't that bad. Actually, the CGI really wasn't that bad either. Obi Won Nicolodi I enjoyed, again CGI wasn't that bad, but i wish she was in it more! i loved the scene when Asia looks at her photos. Simonetti's score is a bit to subtle sometimes, BUT thankfully not always, and makes for a good mood builder. The film is brutal, but thankfully, it really doesn't become schlock, and the whole film really holds the Argento class. Some nice camera-work, again much more than i was expecting. Like i said, the film is magical, i really like the whole theme of exploring: whether through libraries and books, or catacombs and mansions. The connections to the first two installments will have you grinning in joy (The Book!!). This is in a completely different league than Suspiria and Inferno, but honestly, that was expected. Wish lacrimarum was in it more. Whats the big deal about the tunic? Again, not as bad as its made out to be. I can't wait to see this in English.
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1/10
Terrible in every way
YugoNinja16 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Dario, Dario, Dario... You shouldn't have made this movie. All ended in Inferno. There it was explained clearly that the Three Mothers are one. One entity, namely Death. Why making such an absurd and pointless sequel as The Third Mother? The plot is just laughable. Literally. It was hard to watch at one point. It looked like it was made by an amateur and not by the great Dario. The genius that he once was is gone. For good. The old Dario will never be back. The new Dario is just a mere shadow of himself. Pity. If nothing else, the third and last part of this trilogy could be at least a decent ending. Bye, Dario. I really loved you.
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7/10
Argento completes his Three Mothers Trilogy in gory style!
The_Void25 February 2008
Being such a big fan of Argento, I went into this film with a mixture of massive anticipation and worry that it might not live up to my expectations. With the exception of Sleepless, Argento hasn't made a really great film since Opera in 1987, and while I wouldn't quite call the final instalment of the 'Three Mothers' series a return to form, it's certainly a lot better than the majority of his modern movies. The thing that really made the first two films in this series standout was the colourful sets and fairytale atmosphere, and unfortunately this film features neither. I have no idea if Argento decided to discard these things in favour of a modern setting or if it was the producers who were worried that a seventies style film wouldn't sell, but either way; it doesn't feature here and that's the thing I liked least about this film. The film is slightly more story-heavy than the two previous entries and this time we have more of a clearly defined point. The story is set in Rome and our central character is Sarah Mandy. The film kicks off with the discovery of an ancient urn, and from there strange things start happening. Rape, assault and arson increases and strange people start to gather in Rome. These events are due to the return of Mater Lacrimarum, the most beautiful of the three witches at the heart of this series. It soon becomes apparent that the only person who can stop the evil from enveloping the world is Sarah Mandy, who has a few supernatural powers of her own...

As mentioned, it's the change in style that is the biggest problem with this film for me and the thing that really means it doesn't quite live up to the previous two instalments, but what the film lacks in atmosphere, Argento makes up for in gore (and then some) and it's clear that the great director has lost none of his eye for a brutal and stylish death scene. This film is far gorier than the sum of the gore scenes in both of the previous films, and it's great to see a modern film that doesn't hold back. The gore scenes range from quick to stylised and drawn out but all are very gory - with one notable exception which also happens to be the most shocking sequence in the film! Argento has donned the use of CGI and it's a bit of a shame because it looks rather cheap - but that's only a problem really in one scene. Argento films are not known for fluent plots and great acting, and there's a very good reason for that. This film has more than just a few holes and the acting is not anything to write home about either. As is the case with a lot of his modern films, Argento has cast his daughter, Asia Argento in the lead role. She's beautiful and not a bad actress - but Argento always makes her roles too 'clean', and it doesn't suit her considering the Hellraiser she is in real life! I also didn't like the supernatural subplot with her character; it's just sort of thrown in there and doesn't work very well. Argento makes more of an attempt to establish his mythology with this film than in the previous two and he even makes nods to the first two, though I think more could be made of this aspect of the series. The ending is abrupt but nicely done if you ask me. Overall, I did like The Third Mother a lot - it's only disappointing when compared to the other two films. In its own right; this is a great gory Italian horror flick and definitely comes recommended.
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Spreading evil and loving it
unbrokenmetal19 July 2008
After a quarter of a century, I didn't expect a real third part of a trilogy, but I was surprised "Mother of Tears" does get close to this goal. There were connections mostly to "Inferno", even reading the same passage from the book about the 3 mothers again, but with its blackness and demonic obscenity, described as "the Mother of Tears spreads evil wherever she can", by Johannes (Udo Kier), "some she kills, others she drives mad. She revels in chaos and human despair", "Mother of Tears" goes a step further than both predecessors. Gifted with an excellent soundtrack, it's one of the best new horror movies I've seen recently and worthy of the name Dario Argento.

A few things I liked less, though: First, the police men were portrayed totally silly. A hundred people are killed in the city and they are like "you know, we should observe her". Second, it would have been better to cast a new, innocent face for the main part instead of Asia. She is a great actress, but too much identified with her previous roles already. Third, repeating the idea from "Phenomena" to let the lady wade through a pool of things you wouldn't want to smell or see by daylight was definitely not as clever as using a fresh (no pun intended) idea. Fourth, those giggling goth chicks scaring passengers at the train station were not exactly terrifying. These few minor points mentioned, of course I want to talk now about my favorite moments as well, such as the chase through the bookshop - a wonderful labyrinthine set that creates a typical surreal Argento feeling - and like in a dream, Sarah (Asia) can just wish nobody could see her, and they don't. I liked that veteran Philippe Leroy got a small part, and it shows the quality of the screenplay that he doesn't welcome Sarah straight away, but is extremely suspicious - the man has experience with witches, after all. Another moment of genius was using a monkey as spy for the evil Mother. In an average horror film, you would get a zombiefied dog or something like this - but how looks can deceive you is an important aspect of the Mother, the monkey was perfect therefore. What a shocking moment of madness when the baby is thrown from the bridge. Or when Michael (Adam James) reveals the reason for his coughing... So much to remember, can't say that about many new horror movies, so for God's (Satan's?) sake, watch it!
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9/10
Blood,Guts & Gore (and veins in my teeth---sorry,Arlo G.)
Seamus28291 August 2008
I just had the opportunity to see one of Dario Argento's films (I've only seen one other,and that was 'Suspiria',and that was the heavily cut U.S. version on VHS video some years ago), and boy,am I glad to have checked this twisted little gem out. The plot has a young woman (played by the directors own daughter, Asia Argento)working in a museum where a crypt containing talismans & other objects for practicing the dark arts arrives. When the box is opened, all chaos is turned loose (a potential metaphor for Pandora's box?). Although the items contained in the box are supposed to be used in Witch craft, it's never revealed what kind of Witch craft (although there are Pentagrams on the outside of the box). In the usual tradition of Dario Argento's films, blood,guts & gore are on tap,aplenty (the film is currently unrated here in the U.S.,but I'm sure it would pull down the dreaded NC-17 for bloody,gory violence & sexuality). I would be curious as to see Argento's other cinematic exercises in extreme horror. You may want to skip that sloppy Italian dinner either before or after seeing this.
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7/10
A mother of a ride if rather reactionary
jaibo9 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Dario Argento's long awaited final instalment of the Three Mothers trilogy, following Suspuria and Inferno, is a wham-bam rollicking mother of a film, full of overblown visuals, sensual camera movement, grisly and garish special effects, Satanic imagery and hokey dialogue. An ancient urn has been found in a rural graveyard; sent to Rome, it is opened where it reveals itself to contain a talisman needed to restore power to the final surviving member of the trio of witches who once misruled the word, Mater Lachrymarum - the Mother of Tears.

A young scientist (Aisa Argento) gets involved in the urn's story, and gradually discovers herself to be the daughter of a woman who once battled the first of the three mothers, Mater Suspiriorum. The scientist has to put aside her rational mind and learn to trust her intuition and develop her magical powers in order to beat the witch and the coven of maniacs she has gathered around her. All the while, Rome collapses into chaotic disorder, with violence and hatred being unleashed and let loose to run wild in the streets.

The story is relentlessly told, the juggernaut speeding ever-onwards and repeating every trick in the Argento cinematic spell book, but with rather more brio than we've come to expect from him of late. There's a running motif of bookshelves full of the tomes of the ages, and a recurrence of the colour yellow turning to gold which beats the darkness of the witch and her creeps. The murders and mayhem are explicit and enjoyably nasty - the viewer leaves the film feeling battered and bashed both visually and aurally; the music soundtrack consists of classically inspired Gothic rock-pop (reminiscent somewhat of the music from the original Omen film). The script has some over-explanatory dialogue, and an underdeveloped male hero in the police chief, but there's so much happening visually most of the time that this doesn't really matter. Any viewer throwing themselves into the party ought to have a rocking good time.

One thing one notices, and perhaps this has always been true of Argento (and perhaps it's fated to be, given his Catholic roots) is the conservatism of the worldview on display here. Mater Lachrimarum's victims are social conformists (there is an emphasis on mothers who have their child-rearing role perverted and destroyed), whereas the coven of followers of the witch are punky and sexy women who dress to kill and appear to enjoy the different role they have taken in life. It is telling that, when it comes to presenting the underground labyrinthine lair of Mater Lachrimarum, Argento shows her followers indulging in what looks like extreme S&M activity; the Church of Rome is opposed to her, which makes the film ultimately a reactionary document. The torture instruments used by the witch's clan to kill their enemies are historically more likely to have been used by the Catholic church - a church which help the Nazis (who are mentioned in passing as having inhabited Mater Lachrimarum's villa) to escape Rome after the war. One day we might get a horror film which will expose organised religion as the witch whore of Babylon who is the true Mother of Tears; until then, Argento's reactionary entertainment at least has heaps of cinematic chutzpah to keep us entertained and amused.
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9/10
Now, this is a horror movie
TdSmth517 November 2008
I'm reviewing this movie as a standalone movie, independent of its precursors or its director's career.

An excavation near a cemetery yields a coffin and an urn sealed with crosses and marked with ancient letters. The priest takes the urn and sends it to a university so the anthropologist there can take a look at it. Instead, the assistants, one of them played by Asia Argento, open it. Inside are 3 figures, a dagger, and a tunic- supposedly a talisman of some sorts. While playing with the dagger one them cuts herself and blood drips on the urn. While Argento leaves the room, a monkey and 3 dark creatures appear and disembowel the other woman and take the urn and the contents.

The tunic is placed on the Mother of Tears and that brings about chaos, violence, and destruction in Rome. While Rome is in flames, Argento, who now is a suspect in the other woman's death, goes to her significant other who is the anthropologist at the university. His son has been kidnapped- a kidnapping that may be related the the urn? While he goes in search for his kid, Argento is being followed by some annoying group of witches, who look like 80s punks. The police are also on her trail. But she discovers that she has powers. A voice guides her to making use of those powers.

Argento gets in touch with a priest and an alchemist/architect who reveal to her what is going on. The tunic has reawakened the Mother of Tears, the most powerful and terrifying witch that is almost indestructible. Argento finds out that she herself is the daughter of a white witch and her mother stars appearing to her. Her mission now is to destroy the evil witch. In the meantime, the witch has her acolytes kill one buy one those who help Argento, and she kills in the most gruesome ways.

This is an excellent horror movie overall. The movie looks good, it has great sets, attractive women, a story!, gory violence. It is a good old fashioned Italian horror movie. Something different from the usual American slasher/serial killer movies and the French ultra bloody avenging-girl theme. Here you have witches, ghosts, spirits- the supernatural element is refreshing these days when horror movies are all about realistic horror.

That is not to say it doesn't have shortcomings. Argento is an excellent actress but not very sympathetic. The Mother of Tears doesn't get enough screen time as the main villain. The CGI effects could look better or better, replaced by non-CGI effects.

Still, it's highly recommended.
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Argento delivers!!
ultra_tippergore10 April 2008
OK, Mother of Tears is not Suspiria. A lot of people is disappointed because this movie is not as good as Suspiria...bad news for you: Suspiria is a masterpiece and is very tough to found movies as great as that. The good news is that Mother of Tears is a very good horror movie. The third part of the trilogy is IMHO better than Tenebrae and is one of the best Argento movies in a long, long time. Good scares, a lot of gore (this must be the goriest Argento movie) and very entertaining overall. There are a lot of bloody and great scenes, amputations, decapitations, impaling. If you like ultra gore you will like this, If you like Argento you will like it (if you don't expect a new Suspiria) and if you are just a horror fan, I'm sure you will like this too.
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Mother of Tears
Michael_Elliott25 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Mother of Tears (2007)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Third film in the "Three Mothers" trilogy following Suspiria and Inferno. The film opens with an ancient urn being found in a cemetery in Rome. The urn is taken to a museum where Sarah (Asia Argento), an art student, opens in and unknowingly unleashes the witch known as the Mother of Tears. Soon witches begin coming to Rome to pay their respects to the Mother and this here unleashes rape, violence and suicide throughout the city and it's up to Sarah to bring it to an end. It's no secret that I found the first two films in this series to be highly overrated. Yes, they're technically brilliant but the stories never worked for me and I also thought they lacked suspense but that's not the case with this final film in the trilogy because Argento proves his skill with a masterful little film that's not great but it's still pretty damn close. Argento does a great job at creating a truly wicked atmosphere and one that makes you feel as if all of these events are happening and that the world is being overtaken by these witches. There's a certain dread and creepiness running throughout the entire film and there's also a couple scenes that are certain to make you jump. There's also an extremely large amount of graphic violence and gore, which is certainly a throw back to the Italian pictures of the 1970s. I won't ruin any of the sequences but these are certainly the most graphic and brutal scenes from a horror film in many decades. Asia turns in the best performances I've seen from her as the woman who gets into something she was never expecting. There are a couple emotional scenes with Asia's character and her mother's spirit (played by her real mother, Daria Nicolodi), which the actress pulls off very well. Udo Kier also has a nice cameo. The story this time out is a lot easier to follow than the previous two films and again I think this is a major plus. Five writers are credited with the screenplay and I think they got the elements just right. I was letdown by the ending, which I felt happened way too fast and simple but outside of this I really enjoyed this movie. The music score by Claudio Simonetti is also very good and delivers some nice tension to the film. There are a couple poorly used CGI effects but thankfully all of the gore scenes are the real thing. How long has it been since we've seen brutal killings without the use of CGI? One of the scenes look fake but the rest are very gruesome and realistic. The opening murder sequence is brutally done but it gives the opening in Suspiria a run for its money.
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7/10
Mother of Tears
Scarecrow-882 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I think Dario Argento's "Mother of Tears" operates under the adage that some things are better left buried. Thirteenth century artifacts are uncovered inside an urn found buried with the crypt of a man during the excavation of a church where bodies were being "relocated". The moment the urn is opened, an evil is released which will almost immediately unleash upon Rome a possible apocalypse as the Third Mother prepares for total domination of the world. "Chaos. Blood. Tears." And, does the city come unglued! A woman tosses her baby off a bridge (yeah, Dario shows the baby's head slam into stone while hurling to its doom!), violence erupts in the streets, with the carnage tearing Rome apart, a sickness that is spreading like the plague. The moment the urn's candlewax seal (the priest is responsible for the seal, attempting to keep its contents sealed until an archaeologist named Michael could examine them, his expertise in "esoteric science" appropriate for determining the purpose for the artifacts) is broken, terror awaits society, unprepared for the evil that will produce a corruptive influence on all who fall under the Third Mother's spell. It seems that Asia Argento's "student of archeology" is immune to the power of the Third Mother, but how will she be able to stop her before the madness that is enveloping the world becomes to vast to contain? Mater Lacrimarum, the third witch, is the Mother of Tears, considered the most beautiful and cruel of the three (and the other two were pretty damn evil), and as long as the "talisman" (a cloth that drapes over the gorgeous naked body of Moran Atias) is liberated from the seal, evil will reside. The screenplay (co-written, and based on a story, by Dario Argento) is busy, to say the least, with Asia's Sarah Mandy actually the daughter of a "white witch" (played by her mom, and the former lover of Dario, Daria Nicolodi), herself blessed with certain powers (like invisibility). "Mother of Tears" is all over the map; it is really demented. The violence is of the preposterously extreme variety. I mean eyes are gouged out, a face is crushed by a door, a woman is vaginally skewered by a sword, one victim is strangled (after being disemboweled) with her own intestines, and poor priest Udo Kier is bludgeoned repeatedly in the skull with a hatchet! There's a monkey that seems to guide members of Lacrimarum's henchmen—their eyes, so to speak—and children are constantly butchered (one scenes shows the hand of a Lacrimarum follower reaching into the belly of a dead child, another shows a partially devoured child corpse!). This movie is a bloody mess. But, it all makes sense because Mother of Tears is the most sadistic and vile witch of her trio so the slaughter and plague of violence derives from her desire for total anarchy, death, and destruction. My complaint concerns the CGI and "ghost" shenanigans with Nicolodi, helping her daughter escape peril and capture; it looks and feels tacky. Dario follows his daughter as she enters the ruins of the Rome manor, built by an alchemist responsible for the other two (built in New York for Inferno, and Freidburg, Germany for Suspiria), eventually descending into the hidden chamber to face her enemy. The ending is pure Corman, a bit disappointing as the collapsing structures look less impressive thanks to cheap computer graphic effects. The story includes a lesbian psychic who teaches Sarah about contacting her mother and the archaeologist/scientist, Michael (Adam James), being pursued by screeching girls with giant hair and thick eye liner (they look like they stepped right out of the 80s). Dario just hurls the kitchen sink at you. Bottom line is that this film has continued to divide the Argento faithful. While I consider it a lot of grisly, and over-the-top fun, others think Argento has forever lost his mojo. All I know is that I cringed and laughed at a lot of the graphic violence because Argento has no barometer in regards to "how far to go". Everyone is fair game in his movies.
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8/10
Argento is back!
sanjid_ccl22 March 2008
It's really nice to see when some of the great directors of all time (alive) present us now days their masterpiece works again. We are so much lucky to see directors like Dario Argento are again back in the genre. Though you may find some mixed reviews about the movie. But I like to say ....WoW! Argento is back with the 70's splatter fest! And this time he is more brutal with the victims. I quite enjoyed all the gore parts, blood sheds, nudity and his usual chilling background scores. But little bit disappointed with the final climax. Moreover, feeling somewhat sorry for myself that I still haven't seen Inferno yet. I'll order it on e-bay soon.
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2/10
Please retire...
T-bird-716 November 2007
I must admit I quit watching Argento's movies after Phenomena ('84). At that point, his style was no more very appealing, but I've always considered him a great director anyway, basing my judgement on his '70s movies, in particular Profondo Rosso ('75), Suspiria ('77) and the slightly weaker (but still powerful) Inferno ('80).

When I heard this movie was soon to be released, I was excited at what it could be, after 30 years. Also I heard him talking about this movie, saying that it was his original plan to film all three chapters of the story about the three mothers from the book "Suspiria de Profundis" (1845), but that he got somewhat taken away by other projects. He also said that he never abandoned the idea, thinking about it in the last 30 -or at least 27- years. Well, this is the end result?

I'll never say "save your money", because I think everyone has the right to judge by her or himself, but I bet you'll regret spending your hard earned cash on this movie, I did for sure. What an inconsistent parade of "said,seen&done" stuff. If the idea at the base of the story was nothing new but intriguing anyway, the filming is, in a word, bad. Very, very bad.

Is Argento a soft-core director, a B,C,D...Z movie director or simply a guy who can't do his work in a decent way anymore? Where are all those touches that really were scaring? - and I'm not talking about gore here, but those disturbing traces that you didn't notice at first but somewhat got creeping their way into your head while you watched. Even the gore scenes were conventional. Some naked girls, bad acting, a pretentious plot and already-seen-before everything else. You got this movie.

Unbelievable. ...And if I only remember when, in the summer of 2005, I met Argento in person for Profondo Rosso's 30th birthday. He looked (and IS) so competent and imaginative. But, don't ask me why, all this doesn't show in this movie. After the first five or ten minutes, you start looking at your watch, wondering if the next scene will be more disappointing than the one you just survived. Even the characters are so conventional that only a child can find them interesting. Only Asia Argento proves, after all, to be a capable performer and her appearance is the only reason I haven't rated this movie at the minimum. Please, Dario, stop making this kind of trash, you'll pollute all of your great past works in this way, just like those once famous rock&roll bands that don't understand when it's time to disband. Or, go on and switch to soft porn, there is still some market for in on cable TV...

Sorry to sound so harsh, I liked this director's style so much. It simply isn't there anymore. I wish I hadn't seen this one.
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10/10
Wow, what a fantastically wild gross ride! Great ending to the trilogy!
scarletminded2 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this with my boyfriend tonight and he thought it was really gross and scary, too scary for him, which is weird because the two of us have sat through about 7 different Argento films. I would think he would know what to expect by now! :) The Mother of Tears is over the top in the gross-out department, but Argento is a true master of it. It is so extreme and stylized that I found myself saying out loud in the theater how disgusting a murder was at first, only to let out a laugh when it was over, part relieved and part thrilled. For example, a woman gets her teeth knocked out, stabbed and strangled with her own intestines and that is only the warm up to other murders to come. The view the audience gets of the torture tools, especially the double eye gouger and then the intensity of the killing coupled with the bright red blood...you can't take it seriously and that's the point. It is a roller coaster ride with a great director, who seems to get better all the time. I feel this one was worth the wait and over the amount of years Argento has perfected his style all the more. Gone are the slow moving, boring in-between scenes of Suspiria and Cat o' Nine Tails, it is replaced with a solid quick plot line and a whole lot of suspense. We learn a lot about the Three Mothers too.

Odd as it sounds, the thing that scared me the most with the monkey when it screamed. I liked the witches running around Rome too...not to mention the Contiki bus (now doing the "Second Fall of Rome" tour!) that passes by. Asia Argento's acting skills have improved a lot over the years, her English is good and I didn't think the acting was all that bad. I loved the subplot with her mom and how her character was connected to Suspiria.

Overall, the movie was excellent. The violence was crazy in a fun house sort of way, with a curve here, a jumping out there and the roller coaster way Argento makes his scenes, hey we went over a bump and that's scary but wait, there's more you weren't expecting...I would also like to add the violence though really gross and dark is quick, it goes with the plot and doesn't overextend its welcome. It is just enough violence. I think this might be my favorite Argento film and may buy it when it comes out on DVD, since it is only here in a theater for a week, but I am very happy to see it in a theater, it is the first time I have seen his work on the big screen.
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7/10
Better than most modern 'exploitation' films, but...
mihgeorg6 February 2008
The movie started with a big handicap: it was a sequel to not one but two classic horror movies and it was natural that not everybody was going to like it. But, truth is, it is a pretty good movie, although a little flawed. In an age when the revival of exploitation movies is all the rage (see Saw or Hostel for instance) it is a rare treat to see one of the forefathers of European horror movies (Argento) pay his tribute to another one (Fulci), because the movie felt more like something Fulci would have done. The violence is over the top brutal, the sleaze abundant and the plot thin and does not make that much sense. What alienates many viewers is the subtlety of the movie. Although it treads more into the fantasy element of the Mothers mythos, the lightning, the music, the set pieces are not assaulting the senses (unlike, say, Suspria), instead they prove a calm before the storm. And storm it is: we see savage mutilation, sexual torture, cannibalism and all the likes that make most of the modern Hollywood "nasties" pale in comparison. Only the last 15 minutes bring Inferno to mind (and it is only natural) Overall, the movie works adequately, but not perfect. There are some scenes that really do the trick (the chase being the highlight), being eerie or otherworldly, but one too many times the scope of the movie is so large that fails to give a strong impression on the viewer. and the ending... as in the other two movies of the trilogy is week. Overall, as a sequel to Suspiria it fails, but as a stand-alone movie, it is pretty good as a splatter movie with a budget (compared to most contemporary movies in the same category).
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