“Mother!” is too much allegory and not enough story.
Director Darren Aronofsky has a great track record making dark character studies (“The Wrestler”, “Black Swan”), but the characters populating his latest film are more symbolic than human. His script for “Mother!” may seem to be telling a story about a young woman whose tranquil life with her husband is disrupted by a mysterious couple, but it’s supposed to be a biblical allegory about the torment of Mother Earth. The movie’s first half plays like a horror movie, but the preachy pretentions of the second half ruin the scary fun and make for the most confounding film of the year so far.
“It” is a runaway hit, but it should have been truer to Stephen King.
Did “Stranger Things” help pique interest in the similarly-themed “It” and make this new Stephen King adaptation a runaway hit? Perhaps, but the film stands on its own merits with sharp performances by its young cast, a ton of creepy set pieces, and a clever exploitation of an audience’s fear of clowns. Still, this big screen version of the 1986 bestseller could’ve been better. It makes some basic horror movie mistakes – why do characters always get separated after they vow not too? – and moving the time period up three decades destroys some of its naiveté. Yet, its theme about conquering fears is a winner, no matter what year. And you know its eventual sequel, when the adult versions of the children return to battle the clown again, is sure make a killing too.