Kate and her daughter are in hiding. They live in a farmhouse, far from anyone and everyone, but mainly from Beth’s father, who was recently arrested for the murder of one of Beth’s young friends. They’re in the witness protection program, and while Kate is happy to be away, Beth is buckling under the weight of all the downtime.
One night, their past comes calling in the form of a home invasion. The cat and mouse game that ensues is mostly good, except that you will see the ending coming from a mile away.
Lora Burke (last seen in For the Sake of Vicious alongside costars Nick Smythe and Colin Paradine) has to do most of the heavy lifting as Kate, a woman who is constantly on edge and desperate to protect her daughter. Her scenes with the home invader, in particular, are good as she stands up to torture of the emotional, mental, and physical varieties.
While the premise and the central performance make it easy to forgive the obvious budgetary constraints, the main issue in Motherly turns out to be the film’s ending. Not because it’s bad, mind you, but because it is so utterly predictable. Everyone tries to save it, but when things start to come to a head, you’re more likely to yell “finally!” than anything else.
Motherly isn’t a bad film, but it offers little that is new. There are some good performances, and the concept alone is enough to keep it interesting, even if you do know exactly where it’s going. Sometimes the journey is the most important part.
Motherly played as part of the 2021 Blood in the Snow Film Festival and will be available on-demand on November 16th.
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