You Are Not My Mother (2021) – Film Review
Director: Kate Dolan
Cast: Carolyn Bracken, Paul Reid and Hazel Doupe
By Roger Crow
If you can cope with the disturbing opening of Kate Dolan’s chiller, then what unfolds is a creepy psychological yarn with some good turns from Carolyn Bracken, Paul Reid and Hazel Doupe.
When Char’s mother, Angela inexplicably disappears, all that remains is her abandoned car.
However, she eventually returns home without explanation the following evening. Char and her grandmother, Rita, know something is amiss.
“Stuff gets weird”
She might look and sound the same but Angela’s behaviour has become increasingly frightening, as if she has been replaced by a malevolent force.
As Halloween night looms, Char realises she is the only one who can save her, even if it means potentially losing mum forever.
Naturally as with all such chillers involving teenagers, there are generic bullies, and while the threat of Angela being something otherworldly thanks to her habit of sticking her hand down her throat, it’s hard not to warm to her when she comes to her threatened daughter’s assistance. Which of course is the point.
Possessed matriarchs have obviously been addressed before in movies, but despite one of those scores that beats you over the head with distressed strings and chords, when stuff gets weird, it becomes no less compelling.
And while many teens’ idea of hell is watching their mum dancing, this movie takes that idea literally with a wince-inducing moment best dubbed ‘footloose’.
The third act feels like a rehash of Candyman, but is no less affecting.
Though obviously best seen at Halloween, this is still a cracking watch. Just a shame about that title, which sound like a bad homage to EastEnders.