Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?
By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Blood, sexual violence in campy TV horror remake.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Vampirism is used as a metaphor for bad relationships; teens may need some help understanding the connection. Plot points for this movie are horror-movie-trope-ish, but the characters and their dilemmas are treated with surprising respect, which puts this drama a cut above trashier fare.
Positive Role Models
In a silly, campy movie, main character Leah is given actual dignity, with her feelings and her relationship taken seriously, particularly during coming-out scenes with friends and her mom. Evil vampire character Pearl is conflicted about her need for blood and doesn't want to hurt others, yet sometimes finds herself committing crimes with pleasure.
Violence & Scariness
One woman bites another in a scene that "reads" like a rape; female vampires are given vampy costumes, hair, and makeup that make their violence seem more appealing; many biting-and-sucking scenes with soaring music and icky sound effects; bloody mouths and faces. One character's parent was murdered in a random shooting; a woman slashes a man's wrist graphically; spurting, pooling, dripping blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The sexual connotations of vampirism are explicitly discussed in a college classroom; lots of same-sex flirting, kissing, petting (no nudity is shown), dating; one woman turns another into a vampire in a scene designed to look like a rape. A man tries to rape a girl who seems (and is called) drunk (he is stopped by a vampire attack).
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Cursing: "s--t," "hell," "ass." Vulgar language: A girl calls her mom a "sad bitch" and tells her to "go screw" herself; certain things "suck."
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Products & Purchases
Books about vampires mentioned: Twilight, Dracula.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters at a party drink from red Solo cups, and a man tries to rape a girl who is called (and who appears) drunk (he is stopped, and killed, by the vampire crew).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? is a remake of a movie from the 1990s that focuses on a group of female vampires looking for male victims to kill and more women to add to their posse. There's a lot of sexy stuff, including frequent kissing and making out, flirting, and dating; death or feeding by vampires is often styled like a sexual encounter, including a scene set up like a rape during which a woman is forced to become a vampire. At a party where college students guzzle from red Solo cups, a man tries to take advantage of a women who appears drunk; female vampires break it up by killing him. Expect scenes of biting with spurting, pooling, and dripping blood and many lingering shots of bloody faces, mouths, and teeth. Cursing includes "s--t," "hell," and "ass." Real vampire books and movies (Twilight, Dracula) are discussed in a college course that points out some of the clichés and the sexual connotations in the vampire genre. Characters and their dilemmas are treated with more seriousness than in most movies of this ilk, making this one a tad more respectable.
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Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?
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What's the Story?
In executive producer James Franco's campy Lifetime TV movie MOTHER, MAY I SLEEP WITH DANGER?, college co-ed Leah (Leila George) should be on top of the world -- she's just been cast as Macbeth in the school play, she's doing great at school, and she's in love with gothy photographer Pearl (Emily Meade). However, there are several big bummers getting her down: Her mom, Julie (Tori Spelling), doesn't approve of Leah's relationship; her friend Bob (Nick Eversman) is jealous of Pearl and acting really strangely lately; and, worst of all, Pearl isn't just a college student -- she's a vampire, part of a cabal of vampires secretly draining any abusive man they can lay their hands (and teeth!) on, while looking for other women to join them. Leah doesn't quite know what she's up against -- but she's determined to make it work with Pearl, even if their relationship is taking some very unconventional turns.
Is It Any Good?
The original TV movie was sheer guilty-pleasure trash, but though this remake is pretty darn campy, the acting, writing, and general dignity given to its characters make it a cut above. Leah isn't just a go-for-broke college student who'll date anyone; she's a thoughtful young woman with ambition who takes her relationship seriously, even to the point of having a coming-out dinner with her mom. Of course, the fact that that mom's a stunt-cast Spelling, who was the lead in the original, does lend the proceedings an ironic tone. Spelling's protective-parent motives are also a bit more questionable than those in the original -- is she trying to keep her daughter out of danger? Or is she just upset by her being in a lesbian relationship?
Casting original Danger lead Ivan Sergei as a college professor who dryly explains the sexual/queer connotations of vampire literature and movies was a great touch, too -- it's increasingly hard to take the antics of the lesbian vampire posse seriously when they accompany voice-overs of Sergei and his students analyzing the meaning of horror clichés. But far from detracting from the pleasures of this knowing satire, the academic twist adds to the fun, with the filmmakers finding layers of meaning in Hamlet's magic and doom, too. The filmmakers clearly had a great time making this. Maybe that's why it's so fun to watch.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Parents are often more concerned about their children watching violence connected to sex. Does this describe scenes in Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? Why would this type of violence worry parents more than war or fistfights? What's the impact of media violence on kids?
All of the female vampires featured in this movie are female, white, conventionally attractive, and youthful. Why? Does this imply that people who aren't this exact type aren't attractive or appealing? How can movies like this one affect kids' body image?
This movie is a remake of one in which a young woman is in an abusive relationship with an unstable young man. Why did the filmmakers decide to alter the plot? Is this a fresher take on the "bad love" genre?
- In theaters: June 18, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: March 17, 2017
- Cast: Tori Spelling, James Franco, Emily Meade
- Studio: Lifetime
- Genre: Thriller
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 86 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: June 1, 2023
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