Turn the lights on and lock your door: we’re about to deep dive into the world of enclosure horror, why we need to figure out life through demon babies and Babadooks, and films ranging from Wait Until Dark to Get Out.
A knock on the door; the ring of a phone; a text; sex; a Facebook message — these are just some of the ways filmmakers choose to begin their frightening tales of the invaded home. Despite differing modes of portraying these housebound monsters and murderers, the root of the fear and message is almost always the same: beware of the unknown.
Darren Aronofsky’s twisted psychological horror and allegory Mother! has proven to be a controversial take on the invaded home. A divisive film that’s full of masochism and a miscast Jennifer Lawrence, Mother!’s depiction of the invaded home returns to classics like Rosemary’s Baby yet still acknowledges its place in contemporary society in referencing modern nuisances like bad phone signal.
However, what differs Mia Farrow’s 1968 film from its exclamatory successor is that the former delves into the mixed symbolism that comes with the invaded home. Rather than simply it being about the physical home, Rosemary’s Baby is concerned with the invasion of a woman’s body, and the feverish psychosis that comes with every part of your world being called into question. Whilst Mother!’s depiction of pregnancy, birth, and uninvited guests alludes to Farrow’s film, once the viewer understands Aronofsky’s intended allegory the exploration of the invaded home remains surface level. And if the viewer is to read the film as a metaphor for the narcissistic artist and all-loving fan, unfortunately, like Javier Bardem’s character, Aronofsky was too caught up in his mother nature allegory to add multiple layers to the enclosed, invasive, home horror Mother! could have been.
In any case, Mother! tried and presented something new and controversial. Whether viewers think the film succeeds or not, through…