A Mother’s love knows no bounds in Scott Vickers’s low budget gem, Matriarch, where laid back Matt and mom-to-be Rachel seek refuge after a car crash leaves them stranded on a remote Scottish road. When they stumble onto a farm, the owners are hesitant to help at first but eventually welcome the couple with open arms. What starts off as pleasant, if not a little strange, quickly goes downhill. Especially when Rachel realizes the family’s “daughter” is a local girl who went missing years earlier. Armed with this new knowledge, Rachel and Matt try to escape when the unthinkable happens: They are held at gunpoint while Rachel goes into labor. Will their child’s first day on earth be the couple’s last?
Scott Vickers is a raising star with his clever directorial style, exemplary writing as well as his harrowing role as husband Matt. Does this guy ever sleep?! It’s truly the stuff of nightmares: Matriarch takes a scenario that is in no way remarkable and could happen to anyone and morphs it into a horrific life or death situation. All while proving that you don’t need a big budget to make a must see movie.
The suspense of this picture builds up slowly in the first half hour, then unleashes an absolute whirlwind horror and dread. And when Rachel’s baby is finally born? What else can one do but scream? And don’t be surprised if you feel the plot becomes almost predictable after a certain point. I encourage you to embrace your skepticism. It’ll intensify the entire experience when you’re faced with a serious curve ball that includes a ghoulish plot twist that doesn’t actually occur until the final minutes of the movie. While Vickers has proven himself to be a breath of fresh air, it’s the ladies of Matriarch that really give this movie that extra jagged edge.
Rachel shows she is more than just your standard ‘final girl’ with her dramatic, fast-paced character development: from helpless housewife to sick of everyone’s s**t. Every blow, drop of blood, and tear is well earned and better than the last. Her direct counterpart, Agnes, from the very beginning brings a performance that is nothing short of sinister when it’s not gorgeous and compelling. As for my personal favorite Faith: She is a masterful blend of creepy and enjoyable energy. A combo I didn’t know I needed but a combo I love dearly.
With so much to love about this movie, I feel it’s only fair to play devil’s advocate for a second. If I had to complain about anything it would be the lack of backstory with Stu and David, the Fairbarin’s “sons”.Viewers learn pretty early on how the Fairbarin’s cross paths with Faith and why they can’t have children of their own. Keeping with that momentum I would’ve liked to have seen how the boys fell into the clutches of Bob and Agnes. Just for my own curiosity’s sake. Besides that? It’s a thrilling movie that will not disappoint. It is definitely worth a watch. And another. And another. And another. And one more for good luck.
I urge potential viewers not to research this movie too deeply before watching. Don’t look up reviews with spoilers, don’t look up ratings, I even urge you take my opinion with a grain of salt as I feel I’ve already given too much away with this (mostly) spoiler free article. Go in with an open, clear mind then strap in for this crazy ride. I think you’ll love it.
Matriarch is available on DVD, Digital and On Demand April 9th via Lionsgate!
Wicked Rating: 8/10
Director(s): Scott Vickers
Writer(s): Scott Vickers
Stars: Charlie Blackwood, Scott Vickers, Thoren Ferguson, Alan Cuthbert, Cameron Fulton, Briony Monroe, Julie Hannan
Studio/Production Company: Lionsgate
Language: English (with Spanish Subtitles)
Run Time: 92 minutes
*Updated December 10, 2019