Review (Scott McCutcheon 24/03/24)

Mothers’ Instinct is a Hollywood remake of a 2018 Belgium thriller directed by Oliver Masset-Depasse which itself was loosely based on the 2012 novel Behind the Hatred (Derrière la haine) by Barbara Abel.

If you have seen the original Belgium film then nothing that transpires in this elegant and sumptuous remake will come as a surprise. However if you’ve come across the story for the first time then you’re in for a treat as director Benoit Delhomme has crafted an old fashioned thriller the type of which Hollywood just doesn’t seem to make anymore.

Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway are both terrific as is the attention to the 60s detail.

Mothers’ Instinct is a film that the great master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock himself would have been proud of, it does have more than a passing resemblance to some of his work, and recommendations can’t come higher than that.

Alice and Celine (Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway) live the idyllic life in the suburbs, best friends they both have a young son, who like their mothers, are joined at the hip. So much so they have fashioned a hole in their adjoining hedge so that they can come and go from each other’s garden.

The pair’s perfect life is suddenly shattered when Celine’s son Maxime (Laun Adam) dies, in front of Alice, after falling from an upstairs balcony.

When strange occurrences start to happen and Celine starts to take a worrying attachment to Alice’s son, Alice starts to believe that Celine harbours a grudge against her and is blaming her for the death of her son. Naturally, as is the way of thrillers, no one believes Alice her cause not being helped by her own mental health issues in the past.

Is it Alice that’s crazy or is it Celine? You’ll have to catch Mothers’ Instinct to find out.


Mothers' Instinct

1h 34m

Director: Benoit Delhomme
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway

UK Release: Cinemas 27th March 2024