January 18, 2013
January 31, 2013
Director: Andres Muschietti
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier
The Filmster Rating:
A man kills several of his business partners and his estranged ex-wife then runs away with his children: a young Victoria and baby Lilly. After speeding on a remote, snowy road, he crashes into the woods and takes the children to an abandoned cabin he wanders upon nearby. Realizing the mistakes he has made, he prepares to commit murder suicide but at the last moment is killed by a strange figure in the cabin. Victoria looks at the figure but only sees a blur as her glasses were broken in the crash. Five years later, their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend Annabel (Jessica Chastain) have been madly searching for his brother and nieces using the inheritance of his brother. The girls are found and brought back to civilization but the strange figure who has been taking care of them follows the girls to their new home.
Mama is one of the better horror films to come out in recent years, but it still follows the usual clichés and leaves you with a head scratching ending. Mama delivers a decent story and enough chills and scare moments that would make you jump right out your seat. The difference in this story that separates it from other horror films, is that this story focuses more on the characters. The story is based on the drama of the two little girls that were on their own for five years and how they try to be accustomed to the real world. First time director Andres Muscheitti, makes you feel all kinds of emotions for the girls while at the same time give you a few scares. The two young girls were fantastic playing the cute and innocent girls and creepy young girls. With the help of CG, when the girls crawled around like animals gave a chill up your spine when they would appear and then disappear.
Jessica Chastain plays the rock band girl who wants nothing to do with kids, gives a solid performance. Her character starts off as a selfish b*tch until eventually she warms up to the girls and become a little bit more loving. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the uncle is one of the main characters who gets the short end of the stick and is under utilized in the film. He was the main reason for finding the girls but doesn’t give him much to do for the rest of the film. The middle of the film is where most of the fun and scares occur, with good editing and the use music gives plenty of scares to keep you at the edge of the seat. The best part in the film comes towards the end of the film when the entity finally reveals itself.
The story gets a bit choppy when it gives you the background of the ghost, it is told in a few different ways but you are still left unsure about the ghosts history. The one thing your sure about is that ghost is after something, as all ghosts are in every horror film. Clichés run through most of the film like you would expect until it comes to the end. I’m guessing Muscheitti didn’t want to give the typical ending and instead gives you something that is really unsatisfying and head scratching at the end. The end almost plays out like a different movie from the rest of the film. They try to do something different but instead they should have went the safe route and gave it the cliché ending and the film would have benefited from that.
A good heart-felt story and well executed scares, this film delivers as one the better horror films of late. In a genre where so many films fail, this film gives you hope for other horror films in the future.
“Suspenseful and creepy, del Toro takes a ghost story, brings it into our day and age, and makes it worth a watch.” – The Focused Filmographer
“It’s an overwrought spectacle that runs counter to the rest of the film’s suspenseful, personal level ghost story. Bombast and cliché both kick in, and the last ten minutes work double time to fulfill the movie’s “Eye Roll Quota”.” – Fog’s Movie Reviews
“Mama has a great backstory, but it doesn’t strive on originality. With great pacing until the act, Mama makes for a thoroughly scary experience with hardly any room for a feeling of safety.” – Daniel’s Film Reviews