Newest Review: ... them down. Which they succeed and find the children which are still alive, their father is no where to be seen. The children say that Mam... more
A pretty decent horror...
Member Name: jeffjen
Advantages: Good acting and great suspense throughout.
Disadvantages: Storyline a little predictable in parts.
Mama is a 2013 horror film directed by Andrés Muschietti, starring Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Annabel and Lucas, a young couple who take on the role of caring for Lucas's two nieces, Victoria and Lily, five years after their father kills their mother then flees with his two daughters only to crash his car on a snowy road in the mountains. Although they all survive the crash and stumble across what appears to be a deserted cabin in the woods, it appears they are not alone. Preparing to take the lives of his daughters and commit suicide, the father does not get a chance to carry this out, as his life is abruptly ended by something or someone in the cabin.
Fast forward five years and Lucas has been searching for his brother and nieces all this time, before the two girls are eventually found, still alive and still residing in the cabin in the woods where they first took shelter with their father five years before. The two little girls however, are not quite the same little girls they were five years ago...
Lucas and a very reluctant Annabel, realise they don't have an easy task ahead of them caring for the girls and with only a small income and equally small apartment, it looks as if custody of the girls will instead go to a rich Aunt, but with the help of psychiatrist Dr. Dreyfuss, who offers the couple a new home if he can work with the girls and perform case studies, they are granted custody. However, things become even more difficult than the couple could have imagined, when it appears that the girls already have someone to care for them.... their 'Mama'....
It had been a while since I had seen a decent horror movie. Usually I personally find they start off poor and remain poor, or begin by offering great promise but then fail to deliver as it all gets rather silly. Therefore I wasn't expecting much from 'Mama' (rated 15) when I saw it at the cinema recently, but I was surprised to find I quite enjoyed this movie.
The storyline was somewhat predictable I cannot deny, but there was plenty of suspense from start to finish and some real jump and scare moments to prevent you getting too comfortable and I thought the acting was quite good. The children especially were very convincing and I found it was one of those films where you may find yourself wondering just how they had managed to film this movie without damaging them for life!
Thankfully the ending wasn't predictable and this was a plus for me and made up for the very slight niggles I felt.
Jessica Chastain played the part of Annabel very well. It seemed fairly obvious her character was going to be a very reluctant and apprehensive substitute mother to the girls, who then finds herself becoming quite attached to them, but she portrayed it well enough to make her character interesting. Even though I was getting annoyed by her walking down dark corridors in the house after hearing a noise (why not put a light on?) as you just know something or someone is just around the next corner or about to jump out at any time, I realised that in order to maintain the suspense it has to be this way and thankfully there was enough about her character to detract from any predictability with the story.
Speaking of the story, I found I was reminded a little of 'The Woman In Black' although Mama is far scarier and has much more to keep you on the edge of your seat. I wasn't actually expecting to actually see what or whom 'Mama' actually is/was at first, but you do. However, I still can't decide whether or not this was too much. I think the only thing that spoiled Mama was that maybe by the end of the film it wasn't as scary anymore as the first two thirds had been. Guilermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) is the executive producer here and I felt that Mama certainly had a touch of 'scary fairytale' about it, which anyone who has seen Pan's Labyrinth, will know what I am referring to when they see 'Mama' appear.
Overall I found Mama to be the best jump and scare 'horror' film I have seen for some time. The acting and the cinematography was very good with clever camera angles and enough to keep the suspense going from start to finish. Any predictability in the storyline didn't bother me as my interest was maintained throughout and the 'unpredictable' ending was a bonus too.
Well worth a watch.
Summary: A better than average horror movie.