I Am Mother poster

“Mothers need time to learn.”

Mother

Low-budget cerebral science fiction is a fertile breeding ground for new directors and Grant Sputore demonstrates deft control and a strong (if derivative) vision in this tale of a young woman raised by an Artificial Intelligence within a closed facility designed to survive an extinction-level event. Mother’s design is much like humanoid version of Portal‘s GLaDOS, and the use of a prosthetic suit rather than CGI gives her a weightier presence, particularly imposing in the scenes of her sprinting at full speed. It also aids the strangely disquieting imagery of familial intimacy between flesh and metal. There are strong tonal similarities with Moon, from the claustrophobic emptiness of an AI-controlled facility to Daughter’s increasing mistrust of Mother’s intentions and what she is being told about the outside world. The script isn’t quite as sharp and the package isn’t quite so sparingly formed, but it will be interesting to see whether Sputore can successfully navigate in the footsteps of Duncan Jones, Garreth Edwards and their ilk.

7/10