Sometimes you see a film described as psychological horror and it’s pretty tense. Other times…you sit back when the credits roll and think, “Jeez, I need a shower…and maybe a drink…or two…”
Mama’s Boy, a new short film by independent filmmaker Samantha Kolesnik, is firmly in the second category.
Kolesnik has been making a name for herself in the horror genre in the last couple of years, especially, not only as a writer/director of award-winning short films, but also as co-founder of the Women in Horror Film Festival. With Mama’s Boy, she proves herself highly capable of holding her audience in a grasp with measured tension with only the briefest moments of respite to breathe.
At its core, the film is a treatise on the fallout of sexual abuse and the irrevocable damage caused by a mother’s love turned dark and rancid as a rotting corpse.
Joshua (Malcolm Mills), the central character, has never learned to exist in the world of healthy relationships. The only way he knows to make connections is by debasing himself the way that he was debased by his own mother.
He is confused, lonely, and depressed, and we watch as those emotions slowly give way to rage.
Mills is a revelation in the role of Joshua turning what could have been a caricature into a believable, sympathetic young man. His every action seems to be a plea for connection combined with the revulsion of the only kind of love he knows.
He will do anything to be free, but he doesn’t know how to be free.
Outside the acting and direction, composer Landon Knoblock’s score must be mentioned. His music does exactly what a film score should do, perfectly complementing each moment in the film, even in its moments of silence.
Ultimately, Mama’s Boy is a form of transgressive horror. It does not pull many punches, and will draw its audience into a world they most likely never wanted to see. Yes, it is the worst possible scenario, but it is grounded in the all too disgusting reality that so many adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse have faced.
The film will soon make its way onto the film festival circuit and I encourage you to see it. For more information and to keep up on the latest news, you can follow the film on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and their official website.