Serial Mom

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"Every woman wants to be wanted... Just not for murder one!"
  • R
  • 1994
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 6.8  (32,231)
  • 64

Serial Mom is a 1994 American black comedy that tells the story of the perfect suburban housewife, Beverly Sutphin (played by Kathleen Turner), who leads a secret life as a serial killer. The movie shows just how far Beverly is willing to go to protect her family's reputation. Beverly is a seemingly normal housewife and mother who is obsessed with maintaining the perfect image of her family. She spends her days cooking, cleaning, regularly attending her son Chip's (played by Matthew Lillard) baseball games, and keeping her husband Eugene's (played by Sam Waterston) boss, Dotty (played by Mink Stole), happy with homemade pâté. However, Beverly's life takes a dark turn when she finds out that her son's teacher, Mr. Stubbins (played by L7's Donita Sparks), scolded Chip in class.

As revenge for the perceived slight, Beverly begins a killing spree that puts her on the radar of Detectives Pike (played by Sam McMurray) and Gracey (played by Lance Henriksen), who are investigating a series of murders in the area. Despite being a suspect, Beverly does not miss a beat and continues to pursue her goal of attaining the perfect family image.

The murders escalate, and the detectives begin to narrow down their list of suspects. Beverly, who is aware that she is in danger of being caught, decides to take matters into her own hands by targeting the detectives and anyone else that poses a threat to her family's reputation.

As the body count rises, Beverly's family becomes increasingly suspicious of her strange behavior. They initially write it off as a mid-life crisis but eventually become aware of the horrors that their mother is capable of committing. Beverly's daughter Misty (played by Ricki Lake) is particularly troubled and confides in her boyfriend, Carl (played by Scott Morgan), about her mother's strange behavior.

Serial Mom is a satire of the idyllic suburban life and how it can often mask darker secrets. The movie provides a critical commentary on the allure of suburban life and the pressure that it places on people to conform to societal standards. It also explores the concept of the perfect housewife and the lengths that some women will go to attain that status.

Kathleen Turner's performance as Beverly Sutphin is nothing short of fantastic. She seamlessly manages to portray Beverly's dual personas, switching effortlessly between the perfect housewife and the demented killer. Turner's mastery of both the comedic and dramatic aspects of the character makes for an unforgettable performance.

The supporting cast also delivers some standout performances, particularly Sam Waterston as Beverly's unsuspecting husband and Ricki Lake as her troubled daughter. Both actors capture the sense of unease and horror that their characters experience as they begin to uncover Beverly's secret.

Director John Waters manages to balance the movie's black comedy tone with its bloody, violent scenes. The movie's vibrant color palette and campy aesthetic keep the film from becoming too dark and terrifying, making it entertaining despite its violent content.

In conclusion, Serial Mom manages to be both a commentary on society's expectations of women and a campy horror comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously. The fantastic performances, witty dialogue, and John Waters' quirky direction make for a memorable cinematic experience.

Serial Mom is a 1994 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 64.

Serial Mom
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (32,231)
  • Metascore