Road Rash Reviews

Mother, May I? Review****-

Cert 15 | 109 mins | 2023

4 star slow burning and emotional psychological tale.

Mother, May I? is a 2023 psychological horror/thriller film written and directed by Laurence Vannicelli, who makes his very impressive feature directorial debut here. This definitely singles him out as one to watch.

It is available to stream on UK Digital Platforms from 21st August 2023 courtesy of Vertigo Releasing.

“I can’t believe they make these out of plastic. She’s fish food and this thing’s gonna last forever.”

Emmett (Kyle GallnerDinner in America, Smile) is a troubled young man who has headed back to the home of his estranged mother following her death. Abandoned as a baby, he is surprised to learn that the home has been left to him even though she showed no interest in contact.

After throwing her ashes into a nearby lake, he and his fiance Anya (Holland Roden – Teen Wolf: The Movie, Follow Me) head to the beautiful house that he plans to tidy up and flip for a quick sale. It soon becomes obvious that being here is a problem for Emmett and when Anya finds videos to suggest that he lived here far longer than he remembers, the arguments begin.

Anya, being the daughter of a psychoanalyst, fancies herself a bit of an expert and likes to do role reversal therapy with Emmett. Things take a strange turn however when she starts to dress in his dead mother’s clothes and makeup and behaving like her. Is this some sort of possession, or is she taking the therapy too far?

“Of course your mother abandoned you. Of course she did.”

Mother, May I is a very well written film, with pacing that feels slow at first but gets exactly where it needs to be. The backdrops are glorious and the whole thing is delightfully atmospheric, even more so because the setting seems so innocuous.

What really stands out is the acting, with an amazing performance from Holland Roden, who genuinely does seem to be two entirely different people.

This is an uncompromising film that takes a good hard look at mummy issues and the dilemma of hearing the voice of your mother coming from the mouth of the woman you love. It’s uncomfortable viewing and so it should be.

This is not a gore fest, nor does it rely on jump scares for its thrills, but if you are a fan of deeply emotional psychological horror/thrillers then this one is an interesting take on possession horror and definitely worth a watch.

“Hey. I’m sorry I got mad. I want us to have a nice time together. I”m so happy you’ve come home, my little wild thing.”

Vertigo Releasing presents MotherMay I? on digital platforms 21 August 2023

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DirectorLaurence Vannicelli
GenreHorror, mystery, thriller
StarringKyle Gallner, Holland Roden, Chris Mulkey
Category: Digital, film, Review