YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER is a new Irish Horror Movie that utilizes Irish folklore to tell a chilling story. We’ve seen a few horror movies with this kind of story and they tend to be slow-burn and character-driven. So is this one, and it works. Read our full You Are Not My Mother movie review here!
YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER is a new horror movie from Ireland. The story is based on Irish folklore, which you’ve probably heard before. In fact, we’ve seen a few horror movies with this kind of story and they tend to be slow-burn and character-driven. This is no different, which is a good thing. When a storytelling style works there’s no need to try and fix it.
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Continue reading our You Are Not My Mother movie review below.
Chilling Irish folklore with a twist
There’s an intensity to the folklore of “old countries” that always gets to me. The idea that something has been talked about for centuries and still manages to seep into horror stories today, says a lot. More specifically, it says that this kind of storytelling is so damn efficient that it continues to scare people worldwide.
In You Are Not My Mother, the title makes for an even more terrifying story. The idea that your mom could be replaced with something else. You still see the woman that you know as your mother, but you just know it isn’t her. Now that is something that sends chills down anyone’s spine. And, of course, you can also replace “mother” with any other caregiver from your life.
Still, where You Are Not My Mother truly excels, is at using the folklore angle to touch on a much more current and tangible issue: Mental illness. To be fair, it could also be addiction issues or other things that create change in people close to you. Here, it seems to be depression or bipolar disorder, which means a school girl is forced to handle a lot of things on her own.
Hazel Doupe delivers a heartbreaking performance
In the lead role, as Char, we see Hazel Doupe. She is absolutely heartbreaking as the young girl that struggles with having a mom, who isn’t emotionally there, and a grandmother with psychical disabilities. She tries so hard to be strong and protect her home. However, at the same time, she really doesn’t feel safe at home.
Add the brutal bullying she is subjected to, and you have the recipe for a truly tragic and unjust childhood.
YOU SHOULD LIKE THIS ONE, IF YOU ENJOYED…
The 2021 horror movie Antlers. While the two movies are quite different, they both deal with ancient lore and mythical creatures. Also, the story focused on the difficult home life of a someone still in school. All of these elements made me think of Antlers. If you liked that movie, you should also appreciate You Are Not My Mother.
However, in flashbacks, we see that times have been better. And Char also manages to get a friend. Still, even the budding new friendship isn’t without hardships.
All of these elements to the storyline come across with both heart and heartbreak in the portrayal by Hazel Doupe (The Green Sea). Also, you might recognize the actor playing her mother. Her name is Carolyn Bracken and she was in the horror movie The Lodgers (2017) and the TV series Dublin Murders (2019).
Watch You Are Not My Mother in theaters or On-Demand
Kate Dolan is the writer and director of You Are Not My Mother, which is her feature film debut on both counts. She has been making short films for a decade and the time was clearly right for a feature film. This is a very strong debut which makes me expect great things from this writer-director in the future.
This kind of slow-burn horror movie which works with both folklore and social commentary won’t be for everyone. However, for me, Kate Dolan has created an intriguing and intense horror movie that is worth watching for everyone.
With a runtime of just 93 minutes, the pacing is tight while also leaving ample room to explore the emotional side of the storyline. That in itself is no small feat and the end result is all the better for it. You really don’t want to miss out on this one!
YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER will be out in limited theaters and on-demand on March 25, 2022.
Director: Kate Dolan
Writer: Kate Dolan
Cast: Hazel Doupe, Carolyn Bracken, Ingrid Craigie, Paul Reid, Jordanne Jones, Katie White
It’s the week before Halloween. Char’s bedridden mother, Angela, has mysteriously gone missing. All that remains is her abandoned car parked in the middle of a field. When Angela returns home to their North Dublin estate the following evening without explanation, it becomes clear to Char and her grandmother, Rita, that something is amiss. She might look and sound the same, but Angela’s behavior has become increasingly erratic and frightening, as if she has been replaced by a malevolent force. As Halloween approaches, a night steeped in ancient Irish myth and legend, Char must unearth the dark secrets of her family in order to uncover the truth behind her mother’s disappearance and save her, even if it means potentially losing her forever.