Living in an isolated house seems to go hand in hand with horror. Horror films that is. Maybe people, who due to the pandemic, decided to move away from the city to the wider open spaces should rethink that as it seems like as soon as you do that you will be haunted by an angry entity or stalked and murdered in horrible fashion by a psychopath. Food for thought.
What we are going to think about here is the question of how far a mother will go to protect their child? Mix that in with a dodgy past, danger and….you guessed it, a house in the woods and you’ve got a recipe for an interesting horror film.
Being a single mother Kate (Lora Burke – Poor Agnes) is understandably a little protective of her only daughter, Beth (Tessa Kozma – first feature film). Beth is frustrated by this and the fact that they have moved to an isolated farmhouse in the woods without her father. Kate is looking for a new start in life away from people. Still, Beth is not happy with that explanation. What the nine-year-old girl does not know is that her mother has some dark and disturbing skeletons in her closet.
Over the course of one day, Kate has a hunch that something evil is afoot. Danger seems all around them. Kate’s strength is put to the test.
So if you are making a horror film with a mystery aspect to it and you are not going to keep that secret you have to be darn sure that the other aspects of your film are solid. This is the case with Motherly. It shows its hand but does not have many other elements to fall back on. Pile on top of that the fact that the “big” mystery is rather weak itself, meaning most will figure it out as it is rather obvious before the reveal. Proving that sometimes you can be too smart for your own good.
Despite the predictability factor, there are still some redeeming qualities about the film. The home invasion aspect is well done bringing with it some tension. That plus the strong performance by Lora Burke are the things to hang your hat on.