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Happy Horror Mother’s Day!

This Sunday is the day that we celebrate moms; the women who, day after day, deal with our bullshit. For some of us, our moms worked day and night to keep us in clothes and food. For others she made countless breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. My mom bought me an art desk when I was 13 even though it was obvious that my dreams of drawing comics would never happen (I can’t draw animals, cars, planes, anything in perspective, or people). Our moms, whether we can figure out exactly how or not, are part of the reason we love horror.

Time and again, we’ve seen moms go to extremes to help their kids. Sometimes, they go a little too far, forever ruining their children and, in the process, creating horrific killers who spawn the franchises we all know and love. Here, to celebrate the day of mothers, we’ll look at some of the most important mommies in horror, because they sure as hell deserve love too…

Norma Bates

PSYCHO (1960) Universal Studios

We may as well start with the mother of all horror moms, the one who I can’t imagine didn’t pop into your warped little heads almost instantly.

Norma’s great crime, if you asked Norman, would be loving her son too much. Why, Norma loved her little boy so much, she couldn’t stand the idea of being without him, letting her son know that no one would ever take him away by both beating him and loving him.

When Norma met fell in love with another man (Joe if you’re a fan of the novel and movies, Alex if you prefer the recently concluded TV series) Norman gets all jealous and does what any insane mama’s boy would do, he kills his mom and then steals her corpse to keep it with him always. The bad thing is that Norma’s gonna really going to stink up the joint, but the good news is that Norman and his mom became closer than ever – it was almost like they were one person from that day forward.

Mrs. Voorhees

FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) Paramount Pictures

Losing a child is hard, harder than I can ever imagine, but to lose your child because a bunch of teen camp counselors were too busy being horny teens instead of taking care of the kids, you can’t help but want revenge.

So it was that Mrs. Voorhees and her shockingly hairy fingers took on the mission to make sure that Camp Crystal Lake stayed closed even decades after her son’s untimely death. With her skills in archery, wood cutting, and cutlery, Mrs. Voorhees does all she can to keep the children safe from the inattentive, drunk, hormone fueled counselors. Some would call her actions over the top, but to me she was just doing what any good mom would do!

Sadly, Mrs. Voorhees lost her head and failed in her mission to keep sexed up teens away from the lake, but as luck would have it, her boy Jason was ready to take over the family business!

Amanda Krueger

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD (1989) New Line Cinema

Of all the moms here, Amanda is the only one who I would call saintly. A nun who worked tirelessly to help the less fortunate, Amanda found herself locked up in Westin Hills Hospital with all the nutjobs for the Christmas break where she was brutally attacked by the most insane of the insane, including Alice Cooper. Why the entire hospital staff was given the week of Christmas off is a mystery we’ll never have an answer for. If only Geraldo had made a special report about this place!

Nine months after the worst Christmas ever, Amanda gave birth to a little psycho who would do some real horrible stuff. So ashamed of her son, Amanda returned to Westin Hills Hospital and bricked herself up in a room where she eventually died of starvation.

When Amanda’s son went from being a living asshole to a dead asshole who killed people in their dreams, the nun mother finally had enough and decided to punish her boy.

Margaret White

CARRIE (1976) MGM

Margaret would like to be thought of in the same saintly terms as Amanda Krueger, but we know better. This super religious mom was so savage, so utterly brutal, that even Norma Bates would be all “honey, you need to tone it down”.

I mean, I’m sure every parent wants to lock their teenage daughter in the closet to keep them away from the gross boys, but when you actually do it, you’ve really crossed a line. Add in years of mental abuse through religious extremism and you have a really messed up mom. Poor Carrie never stood a chance with a mama like that. Maybe if that nice Travolta boy from the TV hadn’t had played that prank on her, things could have been different.

Mrs. Loomis

SCREAM 2 (1997) Dimension Films

Personally, I’m on the side of Mrs. Loomis. I mean, her husband had an affair with her son’s girlfriend’s mom, which is soap opera enough, but then her son was killed by that very same girlfriend?! And then some Hollywood jerks go and make a horror franchise all about it, airing your dirty laundry to the world?! If you were in that position, wouldn’t you want to see Sidney Prescott get got?

Still, we can’t overlook Mrs. Loomis’ role in all of this. After all, she did abandon her son Billy, which was one of the things Billy claims made him go Ghostface, but surely the kid was all messed up in the head. Maybe if his mom had been there, she could have caught it before her son and his best bud went on a murder spree. OK, I’m not as much on the side of Mrs. Loomis as a thought I was.

Mom Robeson

THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (1991) Universal Pictures

From what I’ve seen, dealing with one kid can be a real challenge, so I can only imagine having dozens of cannibalistic kids living in the walls of your house that need you to do everything for them must be a real workout! Still, Mom Robeson was pretty much up to the challenge as long as you consider heaving endless amounts of physical and mental abuse on children as being up to the challenge.

Still, all the flesh eating children hasn’t made Mom Robeson any less of a sexual being. She and her husband/brother love to get into the gimp outfits and just let go of all the stress that builds up from the daily needs of monsters in the walls.

Diane Freeling

POLTERGEIST (1982) MGM

Diane is the kind of mom we’d all like to have. She’s cool, she’s funny, and she’s willing to travel into the spirit world to get her kids home in time for dinner.

Unlike so many of the other moms on this list, there’s no way to pin any of the bad stuff that happened to her kids on Diane – her grave mistake was marrying Craig T. Nelson which, we have to be honest, is not really a mistake at the time. It isn’t like Coach knew that his company moved the headstones but didn’t move the bodies.

Diane went the extra mile for her kids, so I really hope Robbie remembers to send her some flowers this Sunday!

Wendy Torrance

THE SHINING (1980) Warner Brothers

Another good mommy! Poor Wendy didn’t have a husband as awesome as the Coach, she ended up with the guy who wrote HEAD and couldn’t think of a good follow-up. Having to protect her kooky son from her crazy husband in a snowed in hotel took a lot of courage, perseverance, and screaming, but Wendy did it all without ever wondering if there was a hidden meaning in the Native American art or her son’s shirt.

We kind of have to deduct points from Wendy for her semi-obliviousness to the creepiness of her kid, but when your husband is that freaking strange, a kid who talks with his finger probably seems real damn normal.

Lorraine Warren

THE CONJURING (2013) New Line Cinema

Lorraine is a bit of a mixed bag. She clearly loves her daughter, but she also appears to have little worry about leaving the kid home alone while she takes off to London with her husband to fight a demon. Sure, Lorraine’s daughter is 13 or 14, but that still seems a little young to leave her on her own for a few days.

Then again, it was the 1970s, a time when kids were still allowed to eat lead paint and play with throwing stars, so in that context, Lorraine was probably in the top 5% of good moms. And when her daughter was younger, Lorraine’s mom did fill in as babysitter, so we can presume that the daughter Warren had earned the chance to stay home alone.

Still, I bet that teenaged girl would have loved to go to London. Could have been a nice family trip.

Katherine

THE WITCH (2015) A24

Katherine’s a real mother if you know what I mean. It takes a lot of not liking your teenage daughter to accuse her of witchcraft and suggesting that they ship the poor girl off to another family where she can basically be a slave.

Still, many mothers and daughters have a relationship not unlike Katherine and Thomasin. Most, I imagine, don’t end up so bloody, but I bet more than a few do end with the daughter thinking “you want me to be a witch? Fine! I’ll be a witch! I’ll be the biggest witch you’ve ever seen!”

I bet Katherine and Margaret White would have gotten along famously. They probably would have snarked at Amanda Krueger for not being pious enough or something.

And so to all you moms out there, here’s hoping your day is a good one as long as you aren’t an evil mommy

*Header Photos: BATES MOTEL, A&E 

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