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‘Motherly’ review: Home invasion movie with deep bonds

A tale of two mothers.

Motherly is intense even for the usually tightly wound home invasion sub genre it is a part of. The film is about a mother named Kate (Lora Burke) and her young daughter Beth (Tessa Kozma). The two live alone far away from society. When a vengeful couple shows up, they are forced to confront the past they have left behind. 

The opening moments are an indication of the misdirection and scares the audience is in for. Motherly is a movie that toys with expectations. There is a predictability to it that impacts some of the twists, but there is nothing that ruins the enjoyment. If anything, this provides much needed comfort. 

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Most home invasion films try to get over the importance of family. This is seen in the lengths people will go to in order to protect the ones they love. This is met with varying degrees of success, but when it works, it can give a middling viewing experience the push that is needed.

While that is a part of Motherly, it is portrayed differently. The bond between a mother and her daughter is a big part of the story. This is shown from two perspectives allowing for more insight than is normally given in this type of movie adding a greater level of engagement. 

The film is powered by its strong performances. Again, this is something that is a little different for a genre built on tense moments, fear, and jump scares. Motherly demands more of an emotional investment from the audience. Everyone involved is excellent in their role which makes it easy for those watching to get caught up in the story. 

This also means when Motherly does rely on some of the expected tricks of the trade, they work well. Though they are expected, they still managed to surprise. Using an emotionally charged story to deliver tropes is a subtle twist that makes things that much more enjoyable.

Motherly is on demand and digital November 16

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