Francesa Kinsolving, a very pregnant widow whose husband was rescently killed in action in Vietnam, travels to visit her late husband's mother in a snowy Minnesota town only to get snowed in during a fierce blizzard where she's forced to wait it out only to slowly uncover some terrible dark secrets that Mrs. Kinsolving has been hiding, one of them is her psychotic other son, a recent escapee from a lunatic asylum, who is shacked up in the basement of the house.
'You'll Like My Mother' is one of those long lost and often forgotten thrillers that still manages to keep the suspense some 45 years later. Director Lamont Johnson tells this sadistic tale through subtle eye and most of it plays like a made for TV special on Lifetime, but the characters, story, and performances all raise the bar quite high with this one, even though the film is rated PG. That's the beauty of this film. You don't need the blood and guts or the foul language or hardcore violence to be scary here.
Lamont's slow tension builds up over time with some truly horrifying scenes and plot devices that keeps the twists and turns coming, up until the climax. You can add to that an award winning cast, including Patty Duke, Richard Thomas, Sian Barbara Allen, and Rosemary Murphy. The film follows a young woman named Francesca (Patty Duke), who very recently became a widow and is very much pregnant with her late husband's child. Feeling depressed and utterly alone, she travels to the snowy region of Minnesota to spend some time with her mother-in-law (Rosemary Murphy), whom she has never met.
Unfortunately, Francesca's mother-in-law is less than thrilled to see her, and would rather not be a part of her life or the unborn child's life, but due to a snow storm, Francesca is forced to stay with her for a few days. She soon finds out that her mother-in-law is more sinister than she lets on. She's also not alone in the house either, as a serial rapist and murder (Richard Thomas) is on the loose and a mentally disabled girl (Sian Barbara Allen) is living in this house as well. As the tagline of the film states, "Run Francesca! Run for your life!", is some solid advice.
Again, this isn't a gory film, nor is it a high octane thriller. Instead, this is a slow burn with some menacing shadows in the corners and a slow suspense that builds over the course of the film that makes the climax very much worth it. Each performance here is award worthy. Every actor sells their unique role, which is the driving force of this film. It's as haunting as it is entertaining. 'You'll Like My Mother' still has what it takes in the thriller genre, which is a rare thing these days.
The Blu-Ray: Vital Disc Stats
'You'll Like My Mother' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc from Scream Factory and is Region A Locked. There is no insert or digital download code here. The box art has some images of the film on the inside. The disc is housed in a hard, blue, plastic case.
'You'll Like My Mother' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This 45 year old film sure looks good for how old it is, meaning Scream Factory did a great job with this transfer. The detail is quite vivid and sharp throughout now that reveals some of the great facial features on the actors and fine textures in the costumes. Makeup blemishes and the older clothing styles show up nicely here. Wider shots of the interiors of the old house look great here too, giving some depth to this older image.
There is a good layer of grain here too, keeping with this filmic quality and it doesn't fluctuate all that much. During some of the darker and lower lit scenes, the grain gets a bit heavier. Colors look well here and never overly saturated or too bright with this new transfer. They look realistic and bold. Black levels are deep and inky and the flesh tones are mostly natural. There is still some mild speckling, dirt, debris that crops up here and there, but other than that, this video presentation is issue free.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 2.0 mix and does its job very well. I just wish this had a 5.1 option so we could get all the creaks in the doors and ambient sounds from the rear speakers to fully immerse us in this entertaining thriller. Sound effects are good, but not great.
The score is always haunting and adds to the slow suspense of the film. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow, but when people scream or yell, it can sound like a tin can at times. There isn't a lot of range here really. That being said, this audio presentation gets the job done just fine. Just wish it had a fuller sound.
The Mystery of Kenny and Kathleen (HD, 56 Mins.) - Wow. Almost an hour long interview with Richard Thomas and Sian Barbara Allen, interviewed separately, as they discuss their time making the film with clips of the movie spliced in. This is highly informative and a lot of fun, as the two give us some insight and fun stories from the set of the film. Tons of great stories here.
Photo Gallery (HD, 3 Mins.) - Photo slideshow of images for the film and promo art.
Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3 Mins.) - Trailer for the film.
'You'll Like My Mother' is a 45 year old thriller that is quite suspenseful and holds up to this day. The story is told slowly without any gore or action set pieces, but instead builds on intensity and sadistic plot lines that you might find yourself on the edge of your seat full of sweat. The performances by everyone here is top notch too. The video and audio presentations are both decent and the one hour long extra is worth your time. This film comes recommended.