Mother of Tears
mother of tears | dario argento | jace anderson | walter fasano | adam gierasch | simona simonetti | asia argento | cristian solimeno | adam james | witch | sequel | italy | united states | moran atis | daria nicolodi | coralina cataldi-tassoni | udo kier
Film: Mother of Tears
Director: Dario Argento
Writer: Jace Anderson, Dario Argento, Walter Fasano, Adam Gierasch and Simona Simonetti
Starring: Asia Argento, Cristian Solimeno and Adam James
This film completes the Three Mothers trilogy from director and writer Dario Argento. The first two films being Suspiria and Inferno, the synopsis for this one takes place in Rome and has to do with Mater Lachrymarum (The Mother of Tears).
I should lead off stating that my favorite film from Argento is Suspiria. One of the best things for me and I have to bring up is the continuity for this film. This one begins with a grave being dug up and a box is found on top of the casket. It is opened by a priest and then sent off to a museum to be looked at further.
It is sent to Michael Pierce (Adam James), but he is out when it comes in. Instead Sarah Mandy (Asia Argento) and Giselle Mares (Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni) check it out instead. Inside are little statues, a dagger with jewels on the hilt and what they call a talisman. It is a long shirt with old writing on it. Sarah goes to get a book from the library when Giselle is murdered by henchman of a strange woman. Sarah calls the police, but by the time they get there, they are gone. The detective in charge is Enzo Marchi (Cristian Solimeno). He tasks Detective Lissoni (Robert Madison) to watch Sarah.
She goes home with Michael. Things take quite the turn when the city starts to be filled with weird people and his son is taken. Both of them go about trying to get to bottom of what is happening.
As I alluded to earlier, something I really like is bringing up what happened in the previous two films and keeping the continuity. It is brought up what happens in Suspiria, about how that witch was killed, but it also ties in with Sarah’s mother, Elisa (Daria Nicolodi, Asia’s real mother). Udo Kier, who was also in this other film, comes back in this one, but as a new character. The book from Inferno is also back and fills in the back-story of the Three Mothers. I thought all of this was good.
Now this film did get a bit boring in the middle though. I’m not completely sure if it was the writing or the editing. What makes me leery is seeing all of the writers that worked on this film. Part of me is wondering if this was done to ensure that the continuity of the previous films wasn’t violated. If that is the case, I’m fine with it. In my experience though this could be ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ and attempting to do too much. The editing does build tension until the climax. There is just a lull in the later part of the second act and start of the third that I found myself a bit bored. I did like how the film played out, but the ending was a little letdown. That is really my issue with all three films is how the witches are defeated.
What I will give this film credit for was the effects used for the blood and the death scenes. They are violent, which is a trademark of Argento, and look quite real. I was even surprised at the scene where someone is set on fire. It looked pretty real, which is not common in horror movies today. I did have issues of the look of Elisa though. I do kind of wish that part was left out as it didn’t work for me. That’s the only negative I had for the effects.
The acting was also pretty good for the most part. Asia did a solid job in the starring role. She isn’t as strong as other films that she has been in, but I think that it fits for this role. She isn’t a cop, but a scholar. I thought that helped the realism. Solimeno was kind of bland. He comes off as a jerk until the third act and we are supposed to just be on bored with him. I thought there needed to be more development there. James was fine for what his role needed. Moran Atis appears as Mater Lachrymarum. She doesn’t have much of a role, but she looks great. That was what we learn about the character and she fits it. I also liked seeing Nicolodi, Cataldi-Tassoni and Kier as they are all staples of Argento films. They helped to round out the rest of the film for sure.
Sound design for the film wasn’t great. I was glad to see that Claudio Simonetti did the score as he is another staple of working with Argento. This is one of the films he did without his band Goblin. The score wasn’t bad by any stretch. It has that familiar feel where it sounds almost human while still being music to give it a creepy vibe. It just doesn’t stand up to some of the scores he did that were iconic. It still definitely helped the film in my opinion though.
Now with that said, I would recommend this film, especially if you like Suspiria and Inferno. This is the worst of the three, but it definitely is an above average film in my opinion. It is fun to see a character introduced previously and finally getting to learn more about this mother. This film was beautifully shot like Argento does, but it doesn’t bring the vivid colors the other two did. I thought the continuity and story of this film was good. It does have some issues in the late second into the beginning of the third act though. The acting was good, the effects and sound design were as well. This film I did find enjoyable, especially if you like this trilogy. I thought it was a good conclusion and an above average film for sure.
My Rating: 7 out of 10