Mother! - Darren Aronofsky returns to horror


Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer

Sept 15th


Well that was a hell of a thing. Maybe too much of a thing? It’s going to take me a while to unpack it, but if you think you might want to see it, just go.


Definitely a movie people will walk out on. I think I liked it. I certainly can’t get it out of my head a day later. It’s quite an experience if you’ve the constitution.


Now I really want to see this. I think I’ll choose an afternoon showing rather than a night showing though. :)


I don’t know anything about this movie except Darren Aronofsky, Jennifer Lawrence, and now that it has a Cinemascore of F. Which is amazing. Has that ever happened before? I didn’t know Cinemascore audiences ever gave Fs.

Ah, here we go, the other 8 films of all time to get an F by Cinemascore:

  1. Killing Them Softly (78%)
  2. Solaris (65%)
  3. Bug (61%)
  4. Wolf Creek (53%)
  5. Darkness (4%)
  6. The Box (45%)
  7. Silent House (41%)
  8. The Devil Inside (7%)

(In brackets is the Rotten Tomato score for that movie).


I’d be surprised if the Cinemascore for this wasn’t an F. This is not going to be a movie for people who think “Oh look, another Jennifer Lawrence movie!”

It might even rattle people that think “Oh look, another Aronofsky movie!”


Holy SHIT this movie was fucking intense. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry so my body kinda just hiccupped oddly.

People will absolutely hate this movie but I loved it. Also I know at least one person in my showing definitely walked out.


While I still think I need time to come to terms with the movie, I feel like I currently can’t come to any other conclusion than: I’m crazy about it. Hell, I saw the opening Thursday showing and then felt as if I had no choice but to see it again the next night. This was a once in a lifetime experience.

I don’t know how to compare it against other movies. I’ve got a very solid 2017 top 3, and then there’s mother!, which is a thing unto itself. Hopefully time brings clarity, without taking this feeling from me.

Across two viewings I had 4 walkouts which constituted less than 25%, but possibly more than 10%, of attendees. At the second viewing there was a lone woman to my left who occasionally made audible her dissatisfaction with the movie, and as we got to the beginning of the pregnant siege I leaned over to her and told her she should leave and ask for a refund because she would only hate it more. A few moments passed and she asked why I would watch it again, to which I could only reply, “I liked it.” She stayed till the end, left before me, and I was never to see her again.


I just caught a matinee of this with a friend. No one walked out, but the theater cleared quickly, and the grey-hair group behind me exclaimed “that’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back”, etc.

We stayed because I wanted to catch the credits. A thought occurred to me about halfway through- that no one had names, including the principals. And my hunch was borne out, and the cast list definitely spells out what he was going for. While we were leaving, though, a young theater employee (16 year old? I’m too old to tell with any accuracy these days, they all look way too young to me) corners us and asked what we thought- she’d been in back the whole time after selling the concessions. She barely waited for as answer before launching into a whole thing about how it was a big allegory about Mother Nature vs mankind/religion. How we disrespect the planet constantly, degrade and abuse her, ignoring her health and well-being. I had certainly got all the religious stuff, and her saying that reminded me of the ‘Giving Tree’ bit at the end- “I have nothing left to give”, but hadn’t connected that to Mother Nature. . Anyway, the conversation certainly gave me more hope for the youth of today.

I can’t imagine walking out on this. At what point does it happen? The beat down at the end? at that point the movie is pretty much over.


No one walked out in my showing, but from the audible gasps and mumbling in the theater, the part where they kill, dismember, and eat the baby seems most likely to have pushed some buttons.


Yeah, that’s right before the bit I mentioned. But at that point, like I said, it’s practically over. And while things got bad before then, there wasn’t the torture porn I’d been led to expect. Perhaps I’m just too desensitized/made of sterner stuff, but by that point it was all so unreal, so obviously allegory, I just couldn’t get that worked up. Sure, it was horrible, but in an unreal way, if that makes sense .


I get what you’re saying but that scene is still going to too far for a lot of people.


I don’t think it went too far. I thought it was ridiculously shallow. It turned absurdist about 30 minutes in and I thought this reduced the movie’s impact considerably. It felt like watching something that someone thought was “deep” in high school but then realized it was all cliché.

I went to see it on opening night and if Cinemascore had asked me, I would have given it an F as well. But they didn’t.

It was worse than Noah, which I didn’t think was possible.

Edited to add spoiler tag.


@Don_Quixote That’s exactly how I felt, but much, much earlier.


I don’t know what you guys want to hear. None of us are the prone-to-walk-out-on-a-movie types. The people that are though? They’re going to walk out when a baby is torn apart by a mob. I’m not saying they’re right or wrong or judging the movie on this, I’m saying that for a casual viewer that’s a pretty big deal. It violates all the rules about what’s “safe” in a movie. Doesn’t really matter how artfully it is or isn’t portrayed, that’s something a lot of people consider gruesome in any context.


I watched it again today. This time I don’t think anyone walked out, and it even got applause at the end with some guy saying “Noice! That was awesome!”

Too bad a lot of people left before the cast credits.


Just got home. There’s a lot of movies I haven’t seen yet this year, but I can’t imagine something else being movie of the year for me.

I’ll be buying the blu-ray and putting on the “pitched somewhere just short of hysteria” shelf of classics next to Aguirre and Possession and Repulsion and Wild At Heart. Can’t wait to see it again.


I don’t get it. Little kids get dragged into a sewer in It and it makes record-setting amounts of money, but a baby gets killed in mother! and people walk out? /shrug


Guess I don’t need to see this now.


That’s because IT is as serious as any popcorn blockbuster movie. Lots of jump scares and music stings. Not much actual horror. Beyond the quick splash of gore in the opening ten minutes, (that most everyone knows about anyway) IT is pretty safe. No one other than actual coulrophobics are walking out of IT with any lasting disturbance.