9 Films with Twisted Mothers

These movie moms probably don't get Mother's Day cards...

Hallmark's favorite holiday is Mother's Day, and movies have long celebrated the more endearing aspects of motherhood. While there are plenty of films extolling the virtues of mothers and all that they instill in us, there are also several that present mothers in a horrific, frightening light. You won't find the slightly comic, neglectful mothers (like Anne Ramsey's Mama Fratelli in The Goonies or her equally brilliant turn in Throw Momma from the Train) here, and stepmoms are ruled out altogether (there goes every fairy tale). Even Kathleen Turner's Serial Mom didn't make the list since it's a comedy. These mothers are more cruel than comic.

The following are 9 films spotlighting mothers (human and extraterrestrial) in more serious films that you should take care never to cross … ever.

of 09

'Flowers in the Attic'

Flowers in the Attic
Fries Entertainment

So you think it will be fun when Mom drops you off at Grandma's house? Think again from that locked room she put you in. Oh, your mother will come by now and then, but she's got far more interesting things to worry about than you.

of 09


Carrie. © MGM

This movie is centered on the title character, but her mother plays a big part in shaping who Carrie becomes. Locking her in a closet and espousing religious fanaticism didn't do anything to mitigate the issues boiling within.

Paramount Pictures

This movie makes this list solely thanks to the source material (I recommend reading the story more so than sitting through the film). Grendal's mom may seem attractive when she comes in the guise of Angelina Jolie, but one should always do a thorough background check before being seduced by a monster's mother. Chances are some of that aggression and psychology was passed down in one way or another. More »

of 09

'Animal Kingdom'

Animal Kingdom
Sony Pictures Classics

This movie was a overlooked when it was released in 2010, but Jacki Weaver's portrayal as the matriarch of a family embroiled in a number of criminal aspects is tremendous. She exhibits that sweet exterior you'd expect from your own grandmother but as events unfold, the nastiness underneath bubbles up and every smile is then tinged with a scary, scary edge.

of 09


Paramount Pictures

There’s no question that Alfred Hitchcock believed in nurture over nature when it came to Norman Bates and the upbringing he received. Even past her expiration date, Mom's imprint controlled him completely. This reminds me that I'd like to take a trip soon … and will definitely be skipping any motels along the way.

of 09
Precious. © Lionsgate Films

Mo'Nique was awarded the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as this all-around abusive mom. Not content to rely on the strength of her fists alone, she picks up frying pans and even a television to "parent" her child. The scariest thing about it all is that this is grounded in reality. That makes her far more frightening than even your more egregious horror film mom. More »

Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th. © Warner Bros Pictures

Pamela Voorhees loves her son. That much is obvious. Though considering he was the target of abuse at summer camp at Crystal Lake, maybe this would be a more direct message to the youth of today instead of the documentary, Bully. Either way, be nice to the people around you. Just because they can't stick up for themselves doesn't mean someone else -- like their unhinged mother -- won't do it for them. More »

of 09

'Mommie Dearest'

Mommie Dearest
Paramount Pictures

Faye Dunaway's portrayal of iconic Hollywood actress Joan Crawford is probably not the first choice for movie night at an orphanage. Based on her adoptive daughter's memoir, it paints a very bleak portrait of the screen legend's treatment of her children. The performances are spectacularly chilling.

of 09


20th Century Fox

"Game over, man." "Why don't you put her in charge!" Bill Paxton definitely was speaking for the audience in one of James Cameron's finest films. If you learn two things from this movie, it's stick close to Sigourney Weaver on a hostile planet and better yet, don't anger the Alien Queen by roasting her eggs.

Edited by Christopher McKittrick