M.O.M. (Mothers of Monster), a new found footage style film from writer/director Tucia Lyman will have its big screen debut in Los Angeles on Friday, March 13, 2020 with a release on digital VOD and cable to follow.
The film focuses on Abbey (Melinda Page Hamilton), a single mother who suspects her son Jacob (Bailey Edwards) might be a budding psychopath. Unfortunately, no one will listen to her growing concerns, so she decides to document his behavior for other mothers who might find themselves in the same situation.
Told through cellphone footage, surveillance cameras, and Skype calls, a film whose subject matter is already disturbing delivers a shot of unexpected and uncomfortable realism that will leave audiences squirming in their seats.
Hamilton, who previously appeared in the Netflix series Messiah as well as the ABC hit How to Get Away with Murder, is believable as a woman at the end of her quickly fraying rope. Her emotional arc from anger to vulnerability to fear is utterly captivating.
It’s Edwards, however, in an impressive debut–he’s previously had small roles in film’s like Netflix’s Bright–that will have you on the edge of your seat in M.O.M. He has an unnerving way of staring into the camera, his eyes wide in faux innocence with a dangerous, violent undercurrent just beneath the surface of the mask.
What I found most impressive in his performance was the precision with which he could flip from one emotion to the next in a realistic portrayal of a boy who may have no real emotions at all, but who has learned to mimic what he sees in others. Honestly, it’s the kind of talent one expects from a much older and more experienced actor and it was a pleasant surprise to find in Edwards.
It is ultimately the subject matter, itself, that is most disturbing in M.O.M. Lyman tapped into primal fears of parenthood and the supposed innocence of childhood to craft a story that is tension-filled and compelling.
“I’ve always been intrigued by real-life horror films that use the dysfunctions of society as a vessel to explore the truth,” the filmmaker said in a statement. “M.O.M. is a work of narrative fiction, but much of the behavior, scenarios, and dialogue were borrowed from the journals and publications of real-life school shooters and their parents. It is a very confronting film, much like the subject matter itself, and I hope it will contribute to the national debate surrounding mental health stigma and gun violence in America.”
The realism and the fact that we’ve so many instances of this type of violence in the U.S. rings true throughout. It’s the kind of film that will no doubt fuel discussion in audience members long after its limited release.
M.O.M. will screen for a week at the Arena Cinelounge on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles beginning on March 13, 2020 with release dates for home viewing to be determined.
Check out the trailer below, and let us know what you think in the comments.