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"mother!" Is One Of The Most Fucked Up Movies I've Ever Seen

Hey guys. Writing to you from the land of the milkman, the paper boy, and evening TV. That’s right, I’m in San Francisco for this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt thing. I don’t know much about it, but I know it’s for nerds, and I’m Barstool’s resident nerd, so I’m here shooting videos and learning.

I arrived yesterday afternoon and the convention doesn’t start until today, so I decided to check out the city a bit, and by that I mean walk up the street until I found a movie theater to see mother!. The trailer can be seen above, although it’s not of much use, because it’s completely misleading and nothing like the movie itself. From the trailer, mother! is an intriguing little home invasion horror flick. Not intriguing enough to pull me into the theater, but Darren Aronofsky’s doing it, so it’ll probably have legs, right?!

After hearing the majority of the people were walking out of the theater or throwing up IN the theater during early screenings of mother!, I was sold. That’s the kind of hype that gets me in a theater. I loved Tusk, for fuck’s sake.

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I can tell you right now that mother! is not an intriguing little home invasion horror flick at all. I don’t even know what genre I’d categorize this into. It’s not horror or thriller despite a few jump scares. You never know what the fuck is going on, so maybe we’re looking at a mystery film? It makes you feel uneasy the entire time, so it’s kind of a suspense movie? I really have no idea. I’d probably just say genre: artsy fartsy. There’s no music at all but the sound design is among the best I’ve ever heard, the cinematography is gorgeous, the performances are brilliant, it’s a flick that will stick with me for a while, and somehow, it was the worst movie I’ve seen all year. Maybe because at no point during the two hours and one minute did I know what was going on.

Now if you want to see mother! and have it be unspoiled, stop reading now. I’m about to spoil the ENTIRE movie, because I need to tell you guys how fucked up this shit was.

The movie opens showing a crystal, then a burnt down house fading into a really nice, renovated one, and Mother wakes up. Mother is Jennifer Lawrence. None of the characters have actual names so get used to awkwardly capitalized nouns and pronouns. Him (her husband played by Javier Bardem) is just getting home from a walk or something, and they make it clear that Him is a poet who’s going through bad writers block. Their house is in the middle of nowhere, and Mother keeps seeing shit within the walls. It looks like one of those gross 3D ultrasounds that makes your baby look like an alien. I assumed based on the title that she was pregnant, and she was seeing her own baby or something. I don’t know if I was right or not.

A Man (played by Ed Harris) shows up at their house really late one night and says he’s a doctor working at a nearby hospital and thought their house was a bed and breakfast. Him lets this fuckin’ creepy old dude stay the night, and Mother is like, “What the fuck dude? This is our house. Why are we letting a stranger sleep here?” Him insists it’ll be good for his writing because Man will have stories for him. Man starts getting sick, going through coughing fits, and puking.

The next day, Man’s wife, Woman (Michelle Pfeiffer), shows up, and she’s a huge bitch. Like, one of the most infuriating characters in movie history. She starts criticizing Mother for marrying such an older man, asking when she’s gonna have kids, insulting the renovations on the house, and bossing Mother around in her own home—like an hour after meeting her. Mother tells Him to get these people the fuck out of their house, but Him insists they stay for as long as they want because it makes the house feel “alive”. He also drops in the fact that Man didn’t stumble upon their house randomly, and is instead a crazy old fan who wanted to meet Him before dying. Woman brings Man into Him’s writing room, the one place in the fucking house they asked her not to go, and destroys his sacred crystal. Him was pissed, and decided maybe Mother was right. Get these fucks out of the house.

As Mother goes to tell them to leave, she walks in on them fucking, yes, fucking, and their two adult sons show up out of nowhere fighting over Man’s will. One son accidentally kills the other, and that’s when it clicked for me. This artsy fartsy flick is a Bible allegory. That was Cain and Abel. Man and Woman are Adam and Eve. The crystal is the apple. Ohhhh. So Him takes the dead brother to the hospital leaving Mother home alone like a shitty husband would, and the pool of blood in the ground burns a hole in the floor down to the basement, where Mother discovers some shit buried behind a wall. I still have no idea what the point of the blood hole, or the basement, or any of this shit was, but they went back to it a hundo times.

You lost yet? Yeah, me too.

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When Him gets back, and Mother thinks, “Thank god that’s over”, Man and Woman return with dozens of guests who all make themselves at home and disrespect the house as they hold a wake for the dead kid in Mother’s dining room. Everyone was so mean to her that it was genuinely infuriating. Like, you know when you invite too many friends over as a kid, and you’re paranoid that someone is gonna break something? That is this whole movie, times one thousand billion, for J-Law. Two assholes sit on a sink that isn’t braced, she asks them to get off over and over again, and they don’t, and they break the sink. She kicks everyone out and screams at Him, mostly targeting the fact that he won’t fuck her. Justified too, because if you’re Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence marries you, you need to fuck her as much as humanely possible. It’s the rules. He violently fucks her, they wake up the next morning, and she’s pregnant. Like, baby bump and everything. This inspires him to write, finally, and seconds after he finishes the poem his publisher calls and informs him she loves it. I don’t know when this movie takes place, but I sure as hell think it was before computers and iMessage. So I don’t know how she found out he wrote at all. Whatever.

That night, dozens more people show up at the house remanding autographs and pictures. Some have digital cameras, which just threw off the decade in which mother! takes place even more, but I digress. Dozens of people turns into hundreds of people in seconds, and they all start stealing random shit from the house and destroying it. People literally start taking sledgehammers to support beams, painting over walls, and all of that, while Him is rubbing tar on the faces of his fans in a cult ritual. Publisher (Kristen Wiig) shows up and seems like the only normal person there, but as more and more people barge in, she gets lost in the shuffle. Mother calls in the United States Military when hundreds become thousands, and they start coming in with machine guns and grenades. The house literally turns into a Normandy-like war zone as Mother is giving birth. As intense as you could possibly imagine. Publisher, who seemed cool, is lining people up six at a time on the floor with bags over their heads and executing them but shooting them in the face. The military shoots her with a bazooka though, don’t worry.

Him meets up with Mother and brings her into his office to deliver the baby. It’s a boy, and the war stops and goes silent. Everyone wants to see the baby. Mother refuses, because of course, but Him insists he bring the newborn out into the war zone. It’s a stalemate until Mother falls asleep, and Him takes the baby out into the crowd. Here’s where shit hits the fan and caused one of the two people in the theater with me to leave…the thousands of people in the house crowdsurf the baby until it’s neck snaps. They show (and you hear) a fucking newborn’s neck snap. Mother is petrified, and rushes through the people to find her baby eaten by her husband’s fans. THEY SHOW A GRUESOME, TORN APART BABY, AND PEOPLE EATING IT. WHAT THE FUCK?!

Mother freaks out and starts stabbing people, but they beat the shit out of her and strip her. If you’re made it this far into this blog, you’re probably saying, “Oh what?! Jennifer Lawrence gets stripped?! Maybe mother! ain’t all that bad after all! Do you see her boobs, Bob?”

Sure do, pal! If you’re into seeing three or four seconds of nip while the woman who’s nip that is gets hit in the face repeatedly with a blunt object, this movie is for you! If you’re not a sick pervert, this was not worth the price of admission. Mother then goes into the basement and burns the whole house down, and it explodes. The whole house. It explodes. Him and Mother survive, but Mother’s on the verge of death, and Him asks “Your love, can I take it?” She agrees, he reaches into her chest Temple of Doom style, and pulls out a crystal. A new mother appears, and credits roll. No I’m not on all of the drugs ever, yes this is a real movie.

When I got back to the hotel, I did some research into more of the Bible stuff, because I’m not religious in the slightest, but it made everything make a lot more sense.

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There’s a paradise, Adam and Eve come and fuck it up, their sons Cain and Abel get into a fight over greed and one kills the other, Mary got pregnant and God wrote the Bible, when people find out about the Bible they freak out and kill Christ, eating his body and drinking his blood, and Mother causes an apocalypse. Shoutout Reddit user cooperJEDI for breaking that down for me. It’s not exactly subtle, but hey, I’m an idiot.

Even after finding all of that out, it doesn’t make mother! any better for me. It’s still a pretentious art “film” where Aronofsky decided to adapt the Bible into a relationship horror thing, and it just didn’t work. I’m sure he loved all of his “Didja get that?” similes and metaphors and whatnot, but I didn’t. I’d recommend you watch mother! only to see quite how disturbing it is yourself, but for no other reason. Two thumbs down from your boy Octagon Bob.

P.S. Expect some critics to suck this movie’s dick for “bravery” or “pushing boundaries” or something, they love that. They think it makes them look smart to go against the grain of the mass audience. Sometimes the reality is, the mass audience knows what it wants, and it ain’t baby cannibalism.