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"You Are Not My Mother" is a potent folklore chiller with "Hereditary" vibes

Starring Hazel Doupe, Carolyn Bracken, Ingrid Craigie, Jordanne Jones, Paul Reid, Katie White and Florence Adebambo. Written and directed by Kate Dolan. Now streaming at digital TIFF Bell Lightbox. 93 minutes. STC


Peter Howell

Movie Critic

My Irish grandmother described someone who was a little odd as being “away with the fairies.”

Grandma knew her folklore and so does Irish writer/director Kate Dolan. Her feature debut, spooky as a banshee wail, explores a Dublin family’s distemper regarding the strange actions of title mom Angela (Carolyn Bracken).

She hasn’t been the same since her sudden disappearance and return, much to the concern of her teen daughter Char (Hazel Doupe). Before she left home, single mom Angela was languishing in her bed and indifferent to the fate of her family, which includes her live-in mother (Ingrid Craigie), a believer in the power of talismans.

Angela's energy seems renewed now that she's returned home, but not in a good way.

Is it mental illness or have the fairies taken her? There’s a “Hereditary” feel, as the story unwinds and family secrets are revealed, but let’s not sell this potent chiller short. 🌓

(This review originally ran in the Toronto Star.)



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