After being nominated for her first Oscar at the ripe young age of 20, being successful her first trophy at 22, and being nominated double more by 25, J. Laws undoubtedly has her pick and choose of assignments to focus on next… which is what makes the mother! teaser starring Jennifer Lawrence so unexpected. Usually actors work on many genre films before make their way through prestige films and an Oscar win. However, the Appetite Games actress is taking the opposite tack; with an Academy Honor already under her belt, she’s going in for a good old-fashioned fright flick. But has Jennifer Lawrence ever done a horror movie before?
Lawrence’s only established foray into the horror genre before mom! was the little-seen House BY THE END Of THE ROAD. Although it was filmed in 2010 2010, around the same time as Winter’s Bone, the movie didn’t wrap up getting released until Sept of 2012, sandwiched between her star-making submit The Hunger Game titles (out in March of that season) and her future Oscar-winning role in Gold Linings Playbook (out in November). The film presented Lawrence as an unsuspecting gal whose family relocated into a residence outside from the website of the grisly murder, and who unwisely befriends the sole survivor (played by Bates Motel’s Max Thieriot). The House BY THE END Of The Street garnered a 11 percent ranking on Rotten Tomatoes and flopped at the box office.
Of course, mother! isn’t your typical slasher fare; the mystical movie was written and aimed by Darren Aronofsky, himself an Oscar nominee for helming 2010’s Black color Swan, which got Natalie Portman a succeed for Best Celebrity that season. (You may even know him from his work on acclaimed movies such as Requiem FOR JUST A Dream, The Wrestler, and Noah.) The storyline of Arronofsky’s cooperation is being maintained tightly under wraps; all that’s known is that mom! also stars Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris, and Kristen Wiig, one supremely vague official synopsis (“A couple’s romantic relationship is examined when uninvited friends arrive at their home, disrupting their peaceful existence”), which artful (if gruesome) poster.
But even if you’d known that Aronofsky’s new film was “horror,” you’d be forgiven for let’s assume that the horror would be of the more internal variety on screen in Black Swan. But the 30-second mom! teaser sets the lie compared to that theory, with the footage advertising what appears like an honest-to-goodness intimidating movie complete with creepy house, bloody murders, and a respected lady with a healthy group of lungs.
A lot of the teaser includes a prolonged shot of Lawrence wandering via an empty house, while troubling dialogue murmurs in the backdrop, unsettling to be so out-of-context. “What brings you to us?” Lawrence asks. “They told me I possibly could find room here,” Harris responds. “He thought we were a foundation and breakfast,” Bardem offers helpfully. The dialogue increases increasingly more frantic, building up to Lawrence shouting, “You’re crazy! Murderer!!”equally as the footage explodes into a frenzy of quick cuts, including glimpses of the body being engulfed in flames, a dying housefly, Lawrence screaming, a lightbulb exploding, and a person hitting someone else in the head from behind, and Bardem shouting.
It’s interesting a star as high-profile and acclaimed as Lawrence would be drawn to a horror movie, even one with the pedigree of a filmmaker like Aronofsky behind it. Interestingly, this actually isn’t the actor’s first time delving in to the genre. Clearly, the Hunger Games series had components of horror to them — specially the first film, which observed children pressured to eliminate other children for the leisure of any corrupt federal. And Winter’s Bone, the 2010 indie drama that arrived Lawrence her inaugural Oscar nod, often believed like it could word of advice into outright horror at any point, as her figure navigated the unforgiving panorama of the drug-addled Ozarks looking for her missing father.
Hopefully, mother! is a much more successful foray into the genre for Lawrence than her earlier attempt. And following the recent critical successes of such high-brow, female-fronted horror fare as The Babadook, It Follows, and The Witch, it’s no real surprise that Lawrence would be willing to adopt the jump again, especially with someone like Aronofsky to steer the way. But will it lead to a fifth nomination? The Academy acknowledging horror videos isn’t unheard of; just ask Jodie Foster or Kathy Bates (who earned Best Actress for The Silence OF THIS Lambs and Misery, respectively).
mother! will surely be a film for both horror supporters and Oscar lovers alike to monitor this fall