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Our Mother's House

Score: 70%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Warner Brothers Home

Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 105 Mins.
Genre: Horror/Thriller/Drama
Audio: English Dolby Digital Mono


  • Trailer

Our Mother's House, directed by Jack Clayton, is a disturbing British gothic horror surrounding the death of a strictly religious mother of seven and what her children do in the aftermath to preserve the family.

Elsa (Margaret Brooks) is one of the older children of the Hook family and is used to keeping the household going since her mother became ill some time ago. The children's father is not in the picture, so their entire world centers around their ill mother, with their favorite past-time being "Mother time" when they visit her at her sickbed. The children range in ages from 5 to 14 and in dispositions, as well, with some being shy and mild-tempered and others being irrational and hot-headed. When their mother quietly passes on, the kids become afraid of being separated, so they hatch a plot to keep things status quo by firing the abrasive housekeeper, Mrs. Quayle (Yootha Joyce), and burying their mother in the garden, continuing their daily visits and surrounding her grave with the things from her bedroom in a makeshift shrine.

The children were raised in a strict religious manner by their mother and they try to maintain this, but they are young children trying to parent each other. As a result, when Gerty (Sarah Nicholls) impulsively takes a ride with a stranger on a motorcycle, "Mother" speaks through Diane (Pamela Franklin), demanding a strict punishment that sends Gerty into catatonia. Since Mother didn't believe in doctors, the children continue this practice and poor Gerty is left to hopefully recover at home.

The children are able to survive with the help of Jiminee (Mark Lester), who has an uncanny forgery ability, so they are able to continue to cash Mother's stipend checks. After several months pass, a surprise arrives in the form of the their long-lost father Charlie (Dirk Bogarde) who is all kinds of fun and most of the kids immediately take to him; all except Elsa, who is strongly suspicious of him, just as their mother had been. Charlie isn't everything he appears to be and soon, the house has been turned into a party zone for Charlie and his friends. What's worse, he discovers the shrine to Mother and things deteriorate from there. Can the children maintain their lifestyle or does their despicable father threaten to unravel it all?

Our Mother's House is an odd film, for sure. There are some strong performances from the children and some are quite disturbing. The sound quality of the film is rough and there aren't any subtitles available, so be prepared to have the background music overtake the dialogue at times and to find yourself possibly turning the volume up and down depending on the situation. Our Mother's House is not for everyone. While I don't really think it quite classifies as a horror by today's standards, it is a peculiar and disturbing film that certainly puts a new twist on the phrase "home is where the heart is." Just remember that this film is only available by purchasing it through Warner Archives' Manufacture-on-Demand program at the WB Shop. If you have been waiting for this film to come out on DVD, now is your chance. You can find the link to order it below.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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