YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER (2021) Reviews of Irish folk horror movie

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‘Every family has their secrets’
You Are Not My Mother is a 2021 Irish folk horror film about a young woman trying to discover the mystery behind her mother’s disappearance.

Written and directed by Kate Dolan, making her feature debut. Produced by Deirdre Levins.

The Irish Fantastic Films-Screen Ireland co-production stars Jade Jordan, Paul Reid, Hazel Doupe, Carolyn Bracken, Jordanne Jones and Ingrid Craigie.

On a North Dublin housing estate, it’s the week before Halloween and Char’s mother, Angela, has inexplicably disappeared. All that remains is her abandoned car.


When she returns home without explanation the following evening, it becomes clear to Char and her grandmother, Rita, that something is amiss. She might look and sound the same but Angela’s behaviour has become increasingly frightening as if she has been replaced by a malevolent force.

When Halloween arrives, a night steeped in ancient myth and legend, Char realises that she is the only one who can save her, even if it means potentially losing her forever…


“Shot on a limited budget, You Are Not My Mother makes great use of the resources at hand. The uncanny is conjured up in a number of inventive and often terrifying ways. There’s an oddness that runs through the seam of Kate Dolan feature debut. Doupe is superb as the teenager outsider, shunned at school due to her strange family and being ‘weird’.” Backseat Mafia

” …the body-snatcher stuff is fairly one-note, while a reverse heel turn by the head bully (Jordanne Jones) is nothing if not predictable. I’ve also never been a fan of genre fare that allegorizes physical or mental illness after representing it literally. It’s glib–which is the opposite of this labour of love’s whole unaffected vibe. Still, You Are Not My Mother has deeply-felt performances and cozily evokes the spookiness that dampens the air in late-fall.” Film Freak Central

“The weaving in of Irish folklore plays a tad on the clumsy side. Ghastly nightmares are tired and stale, even when a fresh spin is attempted. All of these things only bring the film down a few pegs from being perfect. However, story-wise, You Are Not My Mother may be my favorite familial horror drama since Hereditary.” Josh at the Movies

” …You Are Not My Mother excels at its goal to unsettle its audience. The film delivers a truly engaging story that at times could have quickened its pacing but nevertheless succeeds by displaying a fascinating and anxiety-inducing story supported by beautifully haunting folklore.” Keith Loves Movies

” …weaves teen angst and mental illness into an updating of a classic Irish folk tale about changelings and doppelgangers. With fantastically committed performances and a deft management of tone, it’s one of the better genre films of 2021.”

“The folklore elements, with talk of faeries and changelings, is all well and good, but it doesn’t appear to add up to much. It also all feels a little too similar to another recent Irish folk-horror flick, The Hole in the Ground. But those seeking a moody, atmospheric horror pic with more than a handful of unsettling moments will likely find much to love about You Are Not My Mother.Slash Film

“Doupe’s portrayal of a teenaged girl yearning for the lost closeness with her mother was very emotional, and the story didn’t exploit the subject matter. You’ll enjoy immersing yourself in the dark fairy tale that laces family drama with loads of horror and folklore.” View from the Dark

You Are Not My Mother premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 13, 2021.

In the US, Magnolia will release the film on Blu-ray and DVD on June 21, 2022.

In the UK, Signature Entertainment and FrightFest Presents will release You Are Not My Mother in cinemas and on Digital 8th April 2022.

Cast and characters:
Jade Jordan … Ms Devlin
Paul Reid … Aaron
Hazel Doupe … Char
Carolyn Bracken … Angela
Jordanne Jones … Suzanne
Ingrid Craigie … Rita
Miriam Devitt … TV sitcom – Witch
Martin O’Sullivan … Frank
Madi O’Carroll … Tour Guide
Florence Adebambo … Amanda
Colin Peppard … Jamie
Katie White … Kelly
Aoife Spratt … Officer Jenny

Technical details:
1 hour 33 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1


Halloween clip:

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