[Movie] Welcome To The Blumhouse: Madres review – real life is the true horror

This review of Welcome to the Blumhouse: Madres is spoiler-free. It was released alongside The Manor.

Welcome to the Blumhouse: Madres follows Diana (Ariana Guerra) and Beto (Tenoch Huerta), a young couple with a baby on the way as they start a new life in a quiet little town in California. As they try to settle into their new lives, Diana begins to notice things about the place that don’t quite add up, and fearing for her unborn child, she digs a little deeper, only to uncover something far worse than she — or anyone for that matter — could have ever imagined. 

[Movie] Welcome to the Blumhouse

[Movie] Welcome to the Blumhouse

Madres really surprised me. Having known nothing about the film prior to watching, I had no expectations and no real idea of where it was going to go once I pressed play. It was a very blank canvas as far as viewing experiences go, and I think that made it hit even harder once it found its stride.

What was apparent from the start was that this was a film that the creators had taken great care with. Madres is beautifully shot, with a lot of warm, rustic tones creeping into the color palette which really draws you into the small-town vibe that surrounds the whole film, in both the good and bad ways. It’s all filmed in the same way that the story unfolds as well — slowly, and offering little pieces at a time, guiding the viewer to draw their own conclusions that ultimately are never as horrifying as what the film actually has laid out.

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One thing that you can be sure is absolutely correct, one way or another, is that something in this town is not right. It’s too quiet; there doesn’t seem to be masses of people living there, and the ones that do are a little odd, to say the least. This created a real sense of isolation and helped you to empathize with Diana as she came around to the idea that she was, and would likely always be, an outsider in this community. Factor in things like the strange happenings at the house, plus the fact that she was heavily pregnant, and it’s not hard to see how an already nightmarish situation had the potential to get even worse. How much worse, however, was one thing that remained to be seen.

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The thing I find with horror that leans into the idea that all is not as it seems is that it has to work extremely hard to maintain an engaging level of suspense throughout so that it can deliver that final blow with maximum impact. As mentioned above, it gave little breadcrumbs here and there that offered glimpses of an idea as to what was going on, but that alone isn’t enough. Fortunately, Madres’ other aspects contributed to the story in such a way that it didn’t feel like it was being drawn out any longer than necessary. The score was a particularly big player in that respect. It was haunting and mystical, and perfectly slotted into the more supernatural suggestions the film made.

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Now, as much as the whole of Madres, in general, was a very pleasant surprise, I was truly horrified when its story came to a head. Without getting bogged down in too many details because I do truly believe that the less you know going into this one the better, it is possibly the worst I’ve ever felt in response to a big reveal. Knowing that such things have happened in real life, and are likely still happening now, is devastating. When everything comes out in the wash towards the end of the film, it’s a real gut punch, and that’s no exaggeration.

With its slow-burning supernatural notes, Madres may not be for everyone. But, for those who stay the distance, they will not only enjoy a subtle yet very effective horror experience, they will be left with some food-for-thought as well. It’s not easy watching by the end, but it certainly leaves an impression bigger than any spooky small-town tale has any business making.

You can stream Welcome to the Blumhouse: Madres exclusively on Amazon Prime.

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