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[FrightFest Glasgow 2024] FILM REVIEW: Mom

Mom - FrightFest Glasgow 2024 World Premiere Review

Director: Adam O'Brien

Starring: Emily Hampshire, François Arnaud, Christian Convery, Erika Rosenbaum

Written by: Philip Kalin-Hajdu

Produced by: Adam O'Brien, Philip Kalin-Hajdu, Benoit Beaulieu, Albert I Melamed

Cinematography by: Benoit Beaulieu

Original Score by: Mortadelle, Brigette Dajczer


Meredith, her husband Jared and son Alex face unspeakable terror in the wake of a family tragedy.

Emily Hampshire as Meredith in Mom


Psychological horror films about brand new parents struggling to connect with their child isn't anything new and usually they are always quite grim and upsetting. 'Mom' is no different. It's a tough watch at times.

Emily Hampshire stars as Meredith, a new mother who has just moved into a brand new home with her partner Jared (François Arnaud) and their little newborn Alex. Meredith is expectedly exhausted and is a little worried about her body, especially the recovery time of her intimate area. Jared seems a lot more chilled out and visibly enthusiastic to be home with their baby.

There isn't an instant connection between Alex and Meredith. It's something that Meredith begins to mull over almost immediately and the constant reassurance from Jared and then her sister soon after doesn't seem to put her mind at ease. Things go from bad to worse after Jared returns to work and she is left alone to look after Alex at home. Like a lot of new mothers, her self esteem and belief in her ability to know what she is doing wanes to a point where it is almost non-existent.

Up until this point much of the film focusses on Meredith's lack of maternal instinct and soon its her lack of sleep that begins to affect her emotional state, so much so that she becomes super paranoid and intensely irritable. Jared gradually turns from doting husband and father to emotional gaslighter, accusing Meredith of neglecting her housewife responsibilities, much to Meredith's anger and frustration. And when she lashes out Jared tells her she might need help, instead of actually helping her. And then the unthinkable happens.

Emily Hampshire in Mom

After such a slow build the remainder of the film shifts gears and we see Meredith completely break down, yet it's difficult to understand exactly what is real and what is just a figment of her imagination. She has eerie visions that suddenly turn horrific and I was waiting for a big twist which didn't arrive. There's a few attempts at jump scares and Adam O'Brien does a good job of successfully building up tension through the first two acts but the pay off doesn't quite live up to what precedes it.

Emily Hampshire gives a powerful performance that is quite refreshing. I'm familiar with her role on 'Schitt's Creek' but it was great to see her sink her teeth into something a bit deeper and more emotionally meaningful. It does well to explore mental health but even when the film flirts within the haunted house sub-genre it kind of drags into the finale towards the credits.

Verdict: ⭐️⭐️½

-Gavin Logan

'Mom' received its World Premiere at FrightFest Glasgow on March 9th

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