Tucia Lyman’s debut film M.O.M (Mother of Monsters) is not a lighthearted thriller. Social media especially creates commentary surrounding horrible events like mass shootings. It also shows one, in particular, a child who is a psychopath. His mother, of course, worries that he will become one of those child killers. Society’s woes often come under the heavy blanket of stories based on real events. They also often come in the form of horror films. They try to figure out and explain why things might have happened the way they did. Writer/director Tucia Lyman reported this story is fiction. However, the gist of the content is taken from journals, news reports, and scenarios of parents and their children who turned out to be school shooters.
To add further salt to the wound that has already been opened here, M.O.M is a found footage film. Not the usual shaky-cam bounty many film lovers dislike. Instead Abbey, the mother of a teenage boy, slowly begins to set up cameras around her home to safeguard her suspicions. Her son Jacob exhibits all the telltale signs that something isn’t quite right. As his mother, Abbey tries to control the situation when all avenues to intercept her beliefs fall through. She sends her son to psychiatrists, reports specific behavior to the local authorities and even speaks with her own mother.
- See the official website. Mother of Monsters Website.
- Try these five action films about escaping. 5 Action, Thriller Movies About Escaping.
- For different monsters: Monster Party, a fun a slick indie horror movie you must see.
- New horror movies on Shudder: Host is a zombie film.
- Classic Found Footage: Troll Hunter
Bailey Edwards and Melinda Page Hamilton in Mother of Monsters
The narrative and intensity of the story as it goes along is well-paced. Bailey Edwards as Jacob is a fierce reckoning of the tightrope between too much and too little. He embodies the character’s casual menace. He comes in the form of a normal teenager. Not a child killer and not a psychopath, except of course behind closed doors. Melinda Page Hamilton, shows the insane struggle of knowing her child is naturally cruel. She begins a series of video blogs with the intention of reaching others in her position. Additionally, it’s clear Abbey has her own demons to contend with. In her battle between attributing whether nature or nurture made her son this way she never has any real confidence in her revelations. Is it my fault if I am not the perfect parent?
M.O.M’s 98-minute run-time feels much shorter than it is. Stories about how serial killers are made are gripping. We want to know the why’s behind the characters we see in the film, the real stories we watch on the news. Is my child a psychopath? It’s is a well-asked question among parents who can’t explain away certain behaviors. The average bystander of these crimes we see wants to know as well. In between casting stereotypical signs such as cruelty to animals, disturbing drawings and violent displays, M.O.M tries to incorporate the fact that some more typical behavior is very well hidden. Self-mutilation, narcissistic compulsions and general discord in communication can also become more prevalent over time.
Mother of Monsters is not without a few faults. It sways dangerously between wanting to be a hard-hitting vessel that opens up a dialogue and showing that no matter how much evidence you compile, there is not a lot of recourse. M.O.M is certainly worth your time if stories like this are something you often ponder. It won’t answer any of your questions but it might leave you more vigilant.
I give M.O.M Mother of Monsters
3.5 hidden spy cameras out of 5