Mother of Tears (La terza madre) (2007)

If she lives, we all die.
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Mother of Tears - If she lives, we all die.

The third and final part of Dario Argento's Three Mothers Trilogy is Mother of Tears (La Terza madre). 27 years after Inferno, the final part of the trilogy that began with Suspiria ends pretty much how it began. I must admit that I was expecting to be disappointed with this movie and envisioned it to be bastardised by Hollywood influences but within a few minutes of the movie beginning I knew that my fears were not going to be realized. Mother of Tears is a typical Argento movie but with a bit more of a modern feel, a mystery plot interjected with the occult and violent, brutal, excessive gore, plus the stunning sets and eerie lighting that the Italian horror director is famous for.

The movie takes place in Rome where a group of builders digging up a graveyard unearth a grave with an ancient urn chained to it. The priest who tends to the graveyard recognizes the name on the grave and fears that a great evil has been unleashed with the urn and immediately sends it to Rome to be examined by specialists to hopefully disprove his fears.

Sarah Mandy (played by the daughter of the director, Asia Argento) is a student studying art restoration in The Museum of Ancient Art in Rome and, in the absence of her superior, she and a colleague decide to investigate the mystifying urn that has arrived at the museum. The urn seems to contain only some ragged robes and a number of statues but there is obvious interest in the contents as within minutes the museum is inundated with a number of robed misfits guided by a monkey. Sarah inexplicably manages to escape the museum unharmed as she seems to have a guardian angel to open doors for her but her colleague is not so lucky and experiences a brutal and bizarre death at the hands of the strangers.

The next few days sees Rome descend into total anarchy as the populace becomes suicidal and violent, and the capital is besieged by numerous raucous and malefic individuals from all over the world. They are witches on a pilgrimage to Rome to witness the return of Mater Lachrimarum, The Mother of Tears, The Third Mother who has been released from her tomb in the urn.

As the plot unfolds, Sarah discovers that her mother was a powerful white witch and the only person capable of standing up to The Mother of Tears. As Sarah's mother is no longer in the world of the living the planet must rely on Sarah harnessing her inherent inherited abilities to stand up to the wicked witch.

In saying that I was not disappointed with this movie I meant that it was not as bad as I though it would be. Compared to the impact of Suspiria and, to a lesser extent, Inferno, this movie is fairly minor but compared to many modern horrors, Dario Argento still shines. The violence, gore and artwork that we expect from Argento is still there but the storyline occasionally wanders off into Harry Potterish fantasy. This movie is essential viewing for fans of The Three Mothers as a conclusion to the story finally happens and we can all sleep soundly knowing that the impending witch threat is over, a superbly graphic ending to a tremendous trilogy.
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Categories: Italian Horror Movies

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