Horror Films For Mother’s Day

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies

In horror cinema, the concept of motherhood and fertility is a common subject. Sometimes we fear the murderous matriarch, desperate to either protect her children or destroy them. Other times, it’s the fragile mommy who needs protecting. Regardless mothers and horror are never too far away from each other.  We have Donna from Cujo, Wendy from The Shining,  Pamula from Friday the 13th, and Mother Firefly from The House of 1000 Corpses to name a few. But this is my list, so I have a different group I think of.

I will list some quality films with unforgettable moms you can watch this weekend. Naturally, these are in no order other than what comes to mind. 

Rosemary’s Baby 1968

This 1968 classic, based on the novel by Ira Levin and adapted for the screen is the pinnacle film for motherhood gone wrong. Starring Mia Farrow as the suffering innocent, the story follows newlyweds Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse into a lavish but empty apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. When Rosemary becomes pregnant after a wild and eerily forgettable night, she begins to suspect that her husband has made a pact with the building’s religious cult residents. Nothing, though, prepares her for the ultimate truth: that her child’s father is actually the devil. 

If this plot sounds familiar to you, it should, and has been copied dozens of times since its release. But Rosemary was the first, and according to some, also the best.

The Orphanage 2007

The feature film keeps the fairy-tale feel of Spanish horror cinema. In coastal Spain, Laura brings her family back to the orphanage she, herself, grew up in. With plans to reopen as a home for disabled children, Laura faces tensions with her own adopted son, Simon, who has found a new playmate in Tomas: an imaginary boy, who wears a sack over his head. When a social worker, Benigna, threatens Simon’s welfare, Laura banishes her from the property. But when Simon goes missing, she wonders if Benigna is responsible, or a force much more sinister, and is forced to confront the spirits of the orphanage to save her son.

The tale itself is a swift kick to the testicular fortitude, but the scares are solid, and it keeps you on edge.

Goodnight, Mommy 2015

A woman returns home to her twin boys in her isolated, modern house after undergoing invasive cosmetic surgery. The twins are happy to have her home, despite her unnerving appearance, her face covered in bandages. But when their mother starts exhibiting strange and cruel behavior, they wonder if it’s really their mother under all those bandages at all.

This movie is what you get if you combine Bad Seed, The Other, and any kind of ghost story. I admit I had to watch this a few times to get all the nuances it was trying to convey. Now I consider it a classic.

Carrie 1976

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

The ultimate mean mom.

Psycho 1960

When a Phoenix secretary steals a small fortune from her employer, she goes on the run and checks into a sinister motel, run by a young Norman Bates, under the influence of his dominating mother. 

No Mother’s Day-themed horror list would be complete without this Alfred Hitchcock classic. 

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