33 years ago acclaimed Italian filmmaker Dario Argento, released his fourth—and arguably his best film, “Suspiria”. Three years later, the semi-sequel, “Inferno”, was released and a full-blown trilogy was underway. After almost thirty years of anticipation, the third and final chapter in Argento”s “Three Mothers” trilogy has finally arrived. In comparison to its predecessors, “Mother of Tears” is a modern twist on the classic, supernatural witch tale, still pungent with the aroma of old-school Italian horror. It’s like a breath of fresh air—an experience to enlighten your senses.
The film follows a young art history student named Sarah (played by Dario’s daughter, Asia Argento) who discovers an ancient urn containing a curse that awakens an ancient witch known as “The Mother of Tears”. The city of Rome is plagued by suicide, violence, and death and it is up to Sarah to use her supernatural abilities to bring the chaos to an end and kill the witch for good. Sarah’s attempt at heroism is interrupted by a coven of witches from around the world who have united in Rome to wreak havoc and celebrate the rebirth of their leader.
In American horror, women are essentially portrayed as the weaker of the sexes, often playing the role of the helpless victim””usually the first to die as a result of a lack of intelligence. Where as Italian horror cinema is often defined by the empowerment of women. “Mother of Tears” contains a lot of strong imagery, which symbolizes the strength of women; I.E. the color red, female nudity/sexuality, as well as both female antagonists (witches) and protagonists.
The Three Mother”s trilogy is a nice change from your typical run-of-the-mill horror films, which focus mainly on brainless, big-breasted, women getting naked and then being ruthlessly hacked to pieces throughout the duration of the film. “Mother of Tears” may be overflowing with nudity and sex (featuring what could possibly be the sickest blood orgy of all time), but it is also equipped with a solid plot stemming from two memorable predecessors, ripe talent, and gratuitous gore. Dario Argento, once again, fails to disappoint in his third and final addition to the highly regarded “Three Mothers” trilogy. It is most definitely one of the must see horror films of 2008.
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