We’ve waited patiently and now the time has finally arrived. It’s time to talk about Andres Muschietti’s latest horror-film, Mama. The film released on January 18th and has done extremely well in the box office holding the number one spot on opening weekend.
Now I gotta say that after seeing the trailers for this movie last year I was nervous that the world just might end before I got a chance to sit down and peek into the insane visuals that Guillermo Del Toro is known for. With the trailer for Pacific Rim looking equally scrumptious I definitely held Mr. Del Toro to a pretty high standard.
So was this movie up to snuff? I’ll give you my opinion for the hell of it but I really want to know what your thoughts were just please respect the community and try to keep your comments SPOILER FREE!!!
Now for the sake of spoilers I won’t dive in too deep to the story but Muschietti wastes no time introducing the audience to the characters and the conflicts they face. I mean literally no time.
In the opening sequence 3 year old Victoria is looking after her 1 year old sister Lily while their disheveled father, Jeffrey, quickly gathers their things. In the background a news report alerts us to the fact that people from the company where Jeffrey works are being murdered. He packs the car with a few belongings, buckles in the girls and they speed off with no destination particular in mind.
Victoria, now frantic to understand what’s happening, begins to cry out to her father. You cant help but take halting breaths as the car speeds through the ominous snow storm taking sharp turns as if there was someone or something unseen in pursuit. The camera zooms in and we catch a glimpse of the ironic license plate.
A desperate father brings his daughters to a cabin he discovers in the woods, the very cabin that will house the girls until they are found 5 year later emaciated, feral, and surviving…alone? The girls are then taken in by their Uncle Luke and his less than thrilled girlfriend Annabel and from here the tone of the movie is set.
Can the girls and Annabel get acclimated to their new dysfunctional family with the jealous “Mama” doing what she can to intervene? You’ll just have to cough up $12.50 to find out.
Overall I was pleased that this was my first movie experience of the new year. The cast in my opinion did amazing jobs breathing life into each character. I found my self blown away more so with the acting talents of the films younger starlets. Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nélisse do an amazing job portraying the roles of Victoria and Lily respectively. The emotional performances put on by these young ladies show the audience that Mama has a more pivotal role in the movie than just being a poltergeist that hitches a ride home to terrorize the family.
The movie also had the right amount of suspense and horror in scenes that featured Mama. In most scary movies containing a ghost you only know of their existence because things are often out of place or a character mentions its existence. Then usually in the last 10 minutes everything is revealed. Mama makes a number of appearances throughout the movie and you really feel like she is important to the plot. Del Toro and Muschietti make sure that each scene involving Mama is one that will have you clenching tight waiting for the worst – my favorite being the scene when Lily is playing in the empty moving boxes and Annabel stands in a doorway.
I was a little disappointed by the fact that throughout the film moths can are used as omens of Mamas existence . This is something that has been done before in other movies – most recently The Possesion(2012) - and I felt like this one honestly could have done without them since they had no real purpose except to alert the audience that “Mama” was somewhere nearby.
With Jessica Chastain being the headline actress I would have liked for her character to have be a little more likable and relatable. She did a great job portraying Annabel, however, the character really felt out of place for most of the movie to the point that her scenes were sometimes hard to watch.
At the end of the day Mama is definitely a movie that I would recommend to anyone looking for something to get your heart pumping. The story is well written, the cast is spot on for the most part, and though it didn’t reinvent the wheel, Mama is one of the better horror movies to come out in a while.
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