Exclusive Interview: Darren Lynn Bousman Talks Remakes, Moral Ambiguity and More for Mother's Day - Dread Central
Connect with us

Exclusive Interview: Darren Lynn Bousman Talks Remakes, Moral Ambiguity and More for Mother’s Day



Post Thumb:


Throughout his career filmmaker Darren Lynn Bousman has tackled several installments of Saw as well as launched a cult classic phenomenon with his 2008 horror infused musical REPO! The Genetic Opera.

Now his latest project finds him reimagining the Troma cult classic Mother’s Day which recently celebrated a limited theatrical release last Friday and will be heading to Blu-ray and DVD shelves everywhere on May 8th courtesy of Anchor Bay Films.

Mother’s Day follows a trio of brothers who head to their family home after a bank robbery goes wrong but once they arrive, they find that Mother (Rebecca De Mornay) has lost their house in a foreclosure. Once they’re discovered by the brothers, the new owners and their party guests become unwitting hostages who struggle to survive once they realize that there is nothing a Mother won’t do to protect her children.

Mother’s Day also stars Jaime King, Patrick Flueger, Shawn Ashmore, Deborah Ann Woll, Briana Evigan, Frank Grillo, Lisa Marcos, Lyriq Bent and Kandyse McClure.

Recently Dread Central had the opportunity to chat with Bousman about Mother’s Day as well as his latest endeavor, The Devil’s Carnival road tour which is currently under way.

Dread Central: First of all, congrats on making such a great flick; how much of a challenge was it to walk the line of paying homage to the original Mother’s Day but still taking enough risks to keep it interesting for everyone too?

Darren Lynn Bousman: I’ve never been a fan of remakes myself so I didn’t take this lightly, going into Mother’s Day. It was incredibly hard. I’ve learned in my career a very important lesson; when you’re making movies like Saw, you have a huge dartboard, so the target you need to hit is a lot bigger and when you’re making movies like Repo!, the dartboard is super tiny so you have to be incredibly precise. And remakes fall into that second category; there’s so much to take into consideration because it’s always a hard sell for the diehards out there and remakes are just a hard sell in general. That’s a lot of baggage just right from the start.

But at the end of the day, you have to take into consideration the story and whether or not it endures; this story did because the theme of family is timeless. The question of what would you do or how far would you go for your family is one that has been asked for a long time now and is still relevant to this very day.

Dread Central: Generally with independent films, the core cast is usually four to six people, but in Mother’s Day, you’ve got well around 15 or so. Was it difficult to manage an ensemble that size while still working in all the story elements as well to keep things moving forward?

Darren Lynn Bousman: You know, it was pretty ambitious to have to deal with 16-17 main characters in this and when you’re doing that, you have to work a little harder to make sure everyone gets their defining moment and that no one is left behind either. That was a huge challenge.

But see, the biggest thing I set out to do with Mother’s Day is that I wanted to make a movie about the different shades of gray in morality, where the people you’re watching weren’t wholly good or bad, they were just flawed in different ways. To me, that’s real life; people aren’t only criminals or victims- there’s always something more going on. I mean, if you’re brought up in a house where crime is normal, then you’re really not doing anything wrong by committing robbery or killing to take what you believe is rightfully yours. It’s a grey area and that was ultimately the appeal for me as a storyteller.

And the interesting thing is that this idea of moral ambiguity applies to the victims as well; none of them are perfect and their flaws come to light, it drives the story forward and I think making a story with all those kinds of layers in it is just incredibly fascinating.

Dread Central: I wanted to ask about your leading ladies- Rebecca and Jaime- because I thought they both were spectacular in their own right.

Darren Lynn Bousman: Rebecca was amazing and one of the coolest actors I have ever worked with before in my life; she really nailed this role and made it even better than it was in the script. And she called me out on all the BS moments that were originally in; if something didn’t work on paper when it came to her character, she let me know and I loved that. Her ideas were so precise.

I also loved Jaime’s performance in Mother’s Day, too; I’ve been such a huge fan of hers for a long time and I think this really was her best performance ever. She’s flawless in this.

Dread Central: Well I know that you’re deep in the middle of your road tour for The Devil’s Carnival right now; how are things going for you guys so far?

Darren Lynn Bousman: This road tour has been incredibly hard but really amazing at the same time; we’ve been selling out a ton of shows which is great because I can really see the momentum building behind this project as we go from city to city. I mean, let’s be honest- part of this really is somewhat self-indulgent on our parts; seeing fans every night and essentially putting ourselves front and center for all that attention. But the heart of what we’re trying to accomplish with The Devil’s Carnival road tour is to show how flawed the distribution system is, to show the power of connecting with fans and to prove that there is an audience for this kind of material.

Sure, it’s awesome to be on stage every night but there’s so much nerves that goes along with that too, especially for me. I still get nervous every single night but at the same time, I’ve also never felt more empowered than I do right now. I’ve also never drank as much as I have on this tour either (laughs); that’s what gets me past the jitters. It’s surprising that my liver is intact anymore in fact (laughs).

Look for Mother’s Day during its limited theatrical release currently or on DVD and Blu-ray starting on May 8th!

Exclusive Interview: Darren Lynn Bousman Talks Remakes, Moral Ambiguity and More for Mother's Day

Got news? Click here to submit it!
Make mama proud in the comments section below!

Image Type 1:

Continue Reading


Like Me – Will You Like This Dystopian Thriller?



Starring Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Robert Mockler

While Like Me is not dystopian in the classic science-fiction sense, it does aptly put the downer vibe across. If the present is abysmal, then the future is downright hopeless. We learn this as we follow an unhinged teenage loner called Kiya (Addison Timlin) on a hollow crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. At first the world “likes” her—with the exception of YouTube rival Burt (Ian Nelson), who disdainfully denounces her viral videos—but pride goes before the fall, and Kiya’s descent is spectacular.

If you’ve peeped the trailer for Like Me, then you’re probably expecting a horror movie. I mean, they’ve got the requisite menacing masked baddie and they’ve got genre icon Larry Fessenden in a major role—those are a couple of the key ingredients, right? Yes they are, but this simmering, shimmering stew of Natural Born Killers, Excision and King Kelly, it boils down to a whole lotta nothing. Like Me is sort of a drama, kind of a road trip flick, and almost a thriller. It succeeds at none yet does stand on its own as a compelling collection of cool visuals and pertinent performances. But is that enough?

While Kiya is a compelling character on the surface, there’s barebones beneath. Sure, she’s a Millennial mind-fed on random online clips and snappy soundbites—but what turned her into a psychopath? Was she born that way? Is social media to blame? We’ll never know, because not a hint is given. I don’t mind ambiguity, but even a morsel would have been welcome in this case. As Kiya ramps up her reckless exhibitionistic extremes, the stakes are never raised. In the end, who cares? Maybe that’s the point.

A word of warning: If you plan on watching this movie while chomping snacks…don’t. There is stomach-turning scene after vomit-inducing scene of orgiastic easting, binging, and the inevitable purging. I’m sure it’s all metaphorical mastication, a cutting comment on disposable consumption. I get it. But I don’t wanna look at it, again and again and again. Having said that, Like Me is an experimental film and in its presentation of such grotesquery, it’s quite accomplished. Montages, split-screens and jittered motions are scattered throughout, showing us all sorts of unpleasant things…Kudos to the editor.

I didn’t hate Like Me. But I do think one has to be in the mood for a movie such as this. It’s not an easy or entertaining watch, but it is a peculiar and thought-provoking one. There’s some style and mastery behind the camera, and I am curious to see what first-time writer-director Rob Mockler comes up with next.

  • Film
User Rating 0 (0 votes)
Continue Reading

Last Toys on the Left

Funko Giving Jurassic Park the Pop! Treatment as Only They Can



It is no secret we’re BIG fans of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl line here at DC HQ, and now they’ve announced a new series that has made our hearts just about burst… read on for a look at Pop! Movies: Jurassic Park, heading our way in February. The regular figures are awesome on their own, but wait until you see the exclusives!

From the Funko Blog:
Jurassic Park fans, get excited! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic film’s appearance on the silver screen, Jurassic Park is coming to Pop!

This series of Pop! features paleontologist Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park CEO John Hammond, mathematician Dr. Malcolm, and embryo-smuggler Dennis Nedry. (Keep an eye out for Dr. Ellie Sattler in Pop! Rides coming soon.)

We couldn’t forget the Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Featured in this line are the great T. rex, Velociraptor, and Dilophsaurus. Look for the Dilophosaurus chase, a rarity of 1-in-6.

Be on the lookout for exclusives. At Target you can find a wounded Dr. Malcolm, and the Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus 2-pack is available only at Entertainment Earth.

Continue Reading


American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review



Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

Directed by Colin Bemis

Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

  • Strawberry Flavored Plastic


Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

User Rating 0 (0 votes)
Continue Reading

Recent Comments


Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!


Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC