Here’s a Mother’s Day Horror movie list to enjoy this weekend! The number of horror films involving mothers is so high that it’s impossible to list them all here. One can only imagine what Freud would say about this phenomenon. So, I have cultivated a list that I think best represents the spirit of the celebration.
So put down your phone and pick up the remote, we are going to watch my favorite Mother’s Day films. Oh, and don’t worry. I will always think you are good enough.
The Babadook movie poster
This film has provided us with so much since its release in 2014. This tragic story about love, resentment and the heartaches of parenting also spawned a LGBTQ+ icon with endless meme potential.
I will admit this is one of the few horror films I have seen that truly frightened me when I first viewed it. Not because of anything explicitly shown, more so because of the miasma the oozes from the film. The Babadook places a film of guilt on you that refuses to wash off. What would Mother’s Day be without a thick layer of guilt.
The performances by Essie Davis (Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities) and Noah Wiseman (The Gift) are both mesmerizing and terrifyingly raw. If you haven’t watched this film, please do so immediately. Afterward, you may want to call your mother and apologize for some things.
The Shining movie poster
I am probably going to upset a certain segment of horror fans with this, but I prefer the 1997 mini-series to Stanley Kubrick’s version. I know it is blasphemy, but I’ll die on this hill.
At the heart of this story is a wife and mother trying to hold on to her troubled marriage while protecting her son. The terror comes not from monsters but from addiction and the always present specter of relapse. Well, I suppose it also comes from the mind-controlling hotel filled with ghosts.
It may not have the shine of its more well-known adaptation, but it is much closer to the source material. Stephen King didn’t care for Kubrick’s Wendy stating that she was “one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film”.
The performances by Rebecca De Mornay (Mother’s Day), Steven Weber (Channel Zero) and Courtland Mead (Hellraiser: Bloodline) depict how trauma can manifest itself long after an injury has occurred. If you want a deeper look at the shining but don’t want to read a brick, track down this mini-series.
Hereditary movie poster
A24 movies may not always land on their feet but when they do the results are incredible. Hereditary is one the most well received movies under the banner of “elevated horror”.
The set pieces are meticulously laid out while the themes of loss and secrecy take the viewer into a landscape shaped by paranoia. Even if you don’t care for the contents, there is no denying Hereditary comes in a beautiful package.
This film gives us a masterful display of how grief can consume a family after the loss of a loved one. What really makes this film stand out are the harrowing performances by Toni Collette (Nightmare Alley), Gabriel Byrne (Ghost Ship), Milly Shapiro (Monkey Bars), and Alex Wolff (old).
Hereditary shows us that sometimes our problems don’t come from our mother. Sometimes they come from her mother. If you want a film that will make you feel better about your own family, give Hereditary a try.
Psycho movie poster
This is the greatest Mother’s Day horror movie of all time. This Hitchcock film shows us just how enduring a mother’s impact on her children can be.
The acting style of the 1950’s had something special about it. The way that Janet Leigh’s (The Fog) voice floats effortlessly through each scene adds a touch of romanticism to the film that is lost in modern media.
You can’t mention Psycho without talking about how amazing Anthony Perkins (Psycho II) portrays Norman Bates. His acting in this film makes me feel nostalgic for a time I’ve never experienced.
This film is still known today because of how relatable it can be. Who doesn’t know what it is like to have the voice of your dead mother telling you to commit murder, I know I do.
This film doesn’t get the traction that it used to because it is in black and white. If this doesn’t bother you and you want to see just how terrifying chocolate syrup can be, go watch Psycho.
The Lodge movie poster
What would a Mother’s Day list be without an evil stepmother. Well, more like a severely damaged stepmother. This is by far the bleakest film on this list and not recommended for the faint of heart.
That being said, I absolutely adore this film. The Lodge lets you know what it is all about within the first fifteen minutes of its run time.
There is a deep tension that resonates from the first scene all the way until the end of the film. This movie is like slowly pulling off a band aid. It is gruesome and painful, but you can’t stop halfway through.
Everyone plays a part in sharing their misery with you. An amazing cast consisting of Riley Keough (It Comes at Night), Jaeden Martell (IT) and Lia McHugh (A House on the Bayou) completes this depressing portrait of resentment.
This film gives an amazing example of how to truly gaslight someone. If you really want to experience some sadness this Mother’s Day, I recommend watching The Lodge.