Would I recommend Mama to someone who easily goes into mild cardiac-arrests at the slightest jump scares, literally feels her skin crawl when things move unnaturally, or to someone who was going movie-hopping with four guys that he or she couldn’t use as a human pair of horse blinders? No. But, I am that girl. I saw Mama. I lived, and possibly even enjoyed it a bit.
Mama is no instant classic or the usual artsy flick that my film school friends would recommend to me, but it served its purpose as a quintessential PG-13 ghostly horror film. Orphaned in the woods, sisters Victoria and Lily (Megan Mcgarry & Isabelle Nélisse) are looked after by a haunting apparition they call ‘Mama’ (Javier Botet). When the girls are discovered five years later, they’ve developed animalistic tendencies and must be integrated back into a normal life with the help of their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his live-in girlfriend Annabel (Jessica Chastain) - but 'Mama’ isn’t ready to let her girls go.
Overall, Mama was fun. I saw it with a bunch of my friends and I love the adrenaline rush of being scared, even if it by some silly 'pop out and scare ya’ moments. There are some obvious flaws in the way director Andres Muschietti chooses to use 'Mama’ in nearly every scene and the mystery that surrounds her ghost is revealed far too quickly, but Chastain’s role as a mother-figure to these two little…wood-beasts is actually pretty sweet and believable and it’s a very un-American horror film in the way it ends and how the audience is led to feel about our spooky antagonist. Check it out and we’ll talk about how uncomfortable this ghostly bitch’s crumbled up, skittering all over the place, multi-jointed body makes you feel.
Is it just me or anyone who watched this movie thinksthe same way that, the story of Genie “the feral child” or “the wild child” kind of relates?
We studied the growth of genie in one of the classes I had in college. Youll have to watch or read about this girl’s life before u watch this movie , then youll understand. This movie got me hella emotional in so many ways. Lol kbye
Mama appealed to be on a number of levels prior to even seeing it. Firstly, I trust Guillermo del Toro implicitly in everything he wants to spoon feed me. I have no reason to question that man’s taste. Secondly, the concept–or the concept as it was presented in the trailer–is just awesome. The notion of feral children is something which is very interesting to me. There’s something very eerie in footage one sees of cases like “Genie,” neglected or abandoned children that revert to an animalistic-like state in order to survive.
The film delivered on the “feral” aspect very well. A good many of the scares come from the youngest of the two sisters, who maintains the wild streak put into her as a baby once she was abandoned.
The story is surprisingly involving and although it seems to put all its cards on the table within the first ten minutes, the narrative continues to pull you in and slowly reveal the depth of the danger that the sisters and their adoptive family face with Mama.
More than that, the film is about who Mama is and Mama’s plight–and that brings in the strong emotional rhythm that hangs over this entire film.
Although this is not a Guillermo del Toro directed film, it certainly feels like it, and it’s because of the emotional rhythm. Guillermo understands that a really resonant horror movie isn’t simply a series of flashy deaths and cheap scares. It’s something that lives with you, long after you leave the theatre. Andres Muschiette understands this very clearly. Like del Toro, he presents young child characters not as one-dimensional sources of danger or vulnerability–they’re complex, they’re deeply wounded and they’re darkly beautiful. Much the same can be said for the story as a whole.
Although the fright scenes are handled expertly and the entire cast is really remarkable, especially the young girls, the thing that may leave the theatre with you isn’t a sense of terror but a sense of sadness. It’s a wonderfully affecting film and I’m so pleased that this is the first face that horror has shown in 2013.
Javier Botet’s screen test for MAMA. Nah, it’s cool. I had no plans of sleeping tonight.
That being said, Mama was pretty decent. Excellent use of visuals and sound, good story. I really wish Nikolaj Coster-Waldau would have gotten more actual screentime. Also, the character of Annabel was meh. She started out as a tryhard asshole, and then just plateaued at asshole for the remainder of the film. Yeah, I get it - character development. But this one just didn’t work for us. Everything else was pretty solid until the end, though. Good movie with a fairly weak ending, and after seeing this video I think they should have skipped the CGI effects added to Mama, and let Botet just do his thing in costume.
MAMA Short Film with intro from Guillermo del Toro (by MamatheMovie)
The short film that inspired the feature film whose trailer I posted earlier. Given that Guillermo del Toro says that it’s one of the scariest things he’s ever seen, there’s no fucking reason I should have watched it … but I did.