Those who were expecting a traditional slasher walked out of Mother! severely disappointed and a little confused. This movie didn't have the usual jump scares and horror plot devices. What it did have was a cast of characters that you already know, you've probably known them your whole life. Maybe you didn't realize it at the start and maybe you still don't recognize them.
To quote Mother herself, Who are you? Who are all these people? Well let's take a look...
Caution: Spoilers Ahead!
Mother herself represents a couple of different entities but mainly mother nature. Barefoot with her long hair flowing she is the embodiment of innocence. Her symbolic nakedness is represented in light clothing that doesn't overly reveal or restrict her body. She is building this home, this paradise or 'eden', and wants to share it with her 'Him' and in the future her child. He is a creator, a writer, our God and he has released a very popular book, his first testament is out in the world.
Just when He is feeling bored, the man arrives. Our first man, our Adam. The man loves 'His' first book and He enjoys both the company and the praise. When the man gets sick Mother tries to help but He rejects her and covers up a wound on the man's back. A big wound right over his rib.
Cutscene to our first woman arriving, our Eve. She doesn't listen to mother and finds herself in the forbidden study before breaking the husband's prized possession. The two newcomers are reprimanded, thrown out, and retreat to their room to have sex. Our Eve has brought impurity to this paradise and even tells mother to cover herself, as Eve has brought shame into the world and nakedness is acknowledged.
So while I was watching this movie confused and ready for something to jump out at me I didn't start to see what was happening until the arrival of the two sons.
This is where the film sees its first violence and the biblical allegories really start to become more apparent.
Two sons arrive and bring greed and violence into the house, as Cain kills his brother Abel over his father's love and approval. This shocks and horrifies Mother who is left alone in the house to clean up the mess that has been made. In mourning people come to the home, representing the original fans of the first book- the hebrews. They take advantage of the home. They take things, they break things, and finally it's too much. While sitting on a sink that Mother! hadn't finished installing breaks a great wave of water is released to get rid of everyone inside, just like the Old Testament's flood.
The respite in the movie is only getting us ready for the big finale, the repercussions of the creator releasing his second book and the birth of Mothers child, the baby Jesus. Once this is done, all hell breaks loose.
There is war, famine, and too many horrors to name that descend upon this house. The Garden of Eden is no more and Mother is being torn apart. Amidst the horror she gives birth only to have the creator take her child and give him to the people. They kill him, they partake in his blood and body, and finally they have taken too much. Mother strikes back only to be brutalized. The people have destroyed her with their greed and their need to worship the creator. And so in grief, pain, and horror she destroys everything.
This movie holds a mirror up to the bible and can show you how graphic and terrible the acts inside of it truly are.
So, not the scary movie you were expecting? Scary all the same.