Madre – Chile, 2016 – overview

Madre is a 2016 Chilean horror feature film written and directed by Aaron Burns (actor in Knock Knock; The Stranger; The Green Inferno). The movie stars Daniela Ramírez, Cristobal Tapia Montt, Aida Jabolin

Plot:

Diana Prieto is pregnant and taking care of her autistic son Martin has become overwhelming. She has no one to help her while her husband Tomas spends months working in Asia. Diana’s at her breaking point with Martin when Luz, a gifted caregiver from the Philippines, steps in to help.

Martin quickly begins improving under Luz’s supervision, but Diana’s worried that he’s only being taught to speak Filipino. Diana begins to suspect that Luz is using the language barrier and voodoo to turn Martin against Diana and into something far more sinister…

Reviews:

“You’re almost guaranteed to have complicated feelings about this one, and as a result, Madre promises to be a polarizing film. It’s not without its faults, and certain scenes run a few minutes too long, but the boldness on display is nothing short of admirable, and in the complex world of art, that’s something you have to respect.” Cinema Slasher

“At first, the film does not exclude the possibility that Diana is imagining Luz’s devious machinations, with Jabolin’s performance striking just the right note between consoling and creepy […] But no attempt is made to beautify or stylize the mise-en-scène, with the filmmakers apparently more interested in getting to the big final shocker than in displaying aesthetic personality.” Cinemalin

“A mix of parental fears, guilt, and xenophobia with a Hand That Rocks the Cradle vibe to it, Burns delivers a helluva genre debut with Madre. Not only is it a disconcerting psychological thriller with some great body horror moments peppered throughout, it’s also a thoughtful parable about whether or not parents are too focused on having “perfect” kids…” Daily Dead

” …Madre just never really feels like a jump-out-of-your-skull horror/thriller film. The antagonist was one-dimensional, and it just felt like Burns made Luz the film’s “bad guy” simply by making her the immigrant housekeeper who spoke another language. It never felt that Aida Jabolin‘s Luz was really that much of a threat.” The Iris

“The film is predictable in its plot beats (Martin draws childish but increasingly disturbed pictures; the family dog “disappears”). And though there are variably credible and pro performances — Jacolin’s Luz is as conspicuously evil as Billie Whitelaw’s Nanny Baylock in the original Omen, albeit with apparently atrophied facial muscles — Madre only really grabs attention when its dialogue or other elements provoke unintended laughs.” Variety

Cast and characters:

  • Daniela Ramírez … Diana
  • Cristobal Tapia Montt … Tomás
  • Aida Jabolin … Luz
  • Matías Bassi … Martín
  • Nicolás Durán … David
  • Ignacia Allamand … Catalina
  • Cristián Carvajal … Dr. Avellán
  • Ignacio Furman … Dr. Veloz
  • Elvira Cristi … Vendedora Aros
  • Gabriel Urzúa … Oscar
  • Fernando Alé … Conductor
  • Marlene Vargas Brebes … Enfermera
  • Steffi Lutz … Amante
  • Aida Cabassa … Enfermera
  • Andrés Civilic … Gerente Supermercado

Producers:

  • Miguel Asensio Llamas … producer (as Miguel Asensio)
  • Nicolás López … producer
  • Jacobo Nazar … co-producer
  • Rodrigo Trujillo … co-producer

More voodoo horror

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