Mother of Tears / La terza madre (2007)

3.0 out of 5

Being a film which most fans of Dario Argento’s haven yearned for, dreamt of and finally accepted as a movie never going to happen, it’s an understatement that Mother of Tears is a movie that certainly built up a lot of anticipation in the almost three decade wait.

Despite some gruesome special effects by Sergio Stivaletti, some splendid cinematography by Frederic Fasano, the soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti, which at times does reflect those two earlier movies, a solid performance from Asia Argento as Sarah and appearances by Udo Kier and Daria Niccolodi, the movie still has some problems connecting with the initial instalments even though it obviously tries it’s hardest to tap into them. Why Kier’s character Father Johannes wasn’t Dr. Frank Mandell from Suspiria instead, or why Fulvio Mingozzi didn’t return for the third time as the cab driver who’s take Sarah on a ride round Rome towards the final destination, is only a few of the questions without answers that could have linked it all up in a delightful way.

But all is not lost and at certain moments the movie certainly does manage to evoke the atmosphere and mysticism of Suspiria and Inferno. Especially in the last act when one of them great big books is presented to Sarah and she learns of the Three Mothers, Friedberg and New York back-story before descending beneath Rome. A descent to take on the most feared of them all, The Mother of Tears. The movie does grow on it’s audience and actually stands up for repeated viewing, which may be one of the keys to this final entry into the trilogy; two instalments seen at least a dozen times demand that the final chapter be seen on equal terms.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics