"mother!" premiered at Venice Film Festival on Tuesday and the movie already sounds like one of the craziest cinematic events of the year, in the best way possible.
While the film elicited both boos and cheers from the audience, it's clear director Darren Aronofsky's thriller made an impact and early reviews make it sound like a totally bonkers, can't-miss movie.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence as a character simply named "mother" and Javier Bardem as "Him," her husband, the movie shows the madness that erupts after some unwelcome visitors stop by their country home.
Here's why we can't wait to see the film, based purely on the first reactions.
"The film's demented final stretch is a madhouse bacchanal, a circus-like inferno which seems welcomed by Him and simply horrifies mother. This quasi-hallucinatory, disco inferno-ish climax is multi-layered and ambiguous enough to accommodate multiple interpretations," said THR.
Variety also said there's a twist "worthy of M. Night Shamyalan" and viewers will exit feeling "assaulted."
According to IndieWire, Aronofsky "externalizes his lead character's horror into the foundations of the very house. The house bleeds, it has oddly human-looking orifices, it has a beating heart."
Variety also pointed out how a toilet is clogged with a beating heart and "blood in the shape of a vagina melts through the floorboards."
The Venice Reaction
"I was surrounded by shrieks, yawns, laughter, smiles and a man who yelled “fuck you” at the screen as soon as the credits started," explained Collider. "You'll either get something you want from 'mother!' or you'll feel like you were robbed. And I think that's pretty exciting for the current studio climate. Nothing is safe about 'mother!' And that's thrilling for an artist like Aronofsky."
The Telegraph also said the film was met with "half cheers and half boos, with one particularly furious critic yelling about Buñuel in Spanish."
Anything met with that kind of reaction has to be worth a viewing, right?
The Supporting Cast
Critics seemed impressed with the creepy visitors who stop by Him and mother's home, including Ed Harris, a boozy Michelle Pfeiffer and their kids, played by Brian and Domhnall Gleeson.
Kristen Wiig and Patti Smith apparently also pop up at some point, so how can you go wrong?
The Wacky Biblical References
"In one way or another, the film references all ten of Pharaoh's plagues (up to and including the last one. This film goes places), and trots in real-life brothers Domnhall and Brian Gleeson to play versions of Cain and Abel," revealed IndieWire. "By engaging at one point in a one brazen act of cannibalism, the film forces us to confront specific religious dogma."
You had us at cannibalism.
Review Adjectives Like These
- "A shocking, surrealist, symphonically berserk feast of filth," The Telegraph
- "A head-trip horror movie with something for everyone," Variety
- "A devouring and restless experience," Screen Daily
"mother!" opens wide September 15.