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Review The Mother of Tears a.k.a. La terza madre (2007): Tears will flow for sure!

genre: giallo, horror, mystery

The Mother of Tears is the final part in the The Three Mothers trilogy which is a complete departure from the two previous films. All the style and atmosphere is replaced with gore and the equivalent to jedi mind tricks. Suspiria and Inferno were over the top but even within their universe they were subtle and moderate relatively speaking.  So what was Dario Argento thinking?

I do have to state that the first time I had watched this film I had a lot of fun. This second time around I still enjoyed myself for the most part. But now I noticed quite a few flaws that ruined the viewing experience a little. The lack of style and atmosphere is a real mood killer for this film. All the suspense and mystery is gone. Inferno had managed to build on what was set up in Suspiria but The Mother of Tears almost forsakes what is established and goes into a different direction which can be quite confusing and laughable. Suddenly white witches exist who can battle the mothers and their minions. Main character Sarah Mandy played by Asia Argento turns out to be one just like her mother was. Her mother is played by real life mother Daria Nicolodi. She pops up now again in the same vein as Obi-Wan Kenobi giving advice whenever she needs it.

And believe me Asia needs it a lot in this film. Asia when she feels like it can be a real good actress. However she also can be an extremely bad one which is the case here. One minute her characters acts resourceful and clever, the next she acts like a total buffoon. She claims to be a scientist and yet never acts like one. At one point it becomes highly annoying. And yet I was rooting for her when she was being chased. 

One of the best elements of this film is that this it's truly first time the witches and minions are out in the open. They don't hide in the shadows any more. The apocalypse is near and they feel empowered to wreak havoc and chaos. In a way I understand what Dario was going for. He probably wanted to expand on the global effects and influence of the mothers in the world. There is no point in fearing them if they aren't as powerful as claimed. These lower witches and demons also are forces who can't be ignored. There are quite a few demonstrations of their wickedness. Gross, disgusting and bloody. However while they seem threatening and dangerous, The Third Mother is far from menacing. I am aware she is the one who instigates and controls everything. But if it weren't for her minion she herself doesn't look nor acts that dangerous. The previous mothers had this air of mystery and dread surrounding them. The Third Mother just looks like someone who does cosplay. 

Overall The Mother of Tears is worth watching at least once even if it was just for showing how powerful the Three Mothers are. Other than that this is a Dario Argento film that lacks almost everything that made Suspiria and Inferno special. Quite sad really!

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