Movie of the Day – Mama

One of the best experiences that I can have at a movie theater is when I am in a packed theater during a scary movie.  It doesn’t need to be a gore flick, but a moody, jump scare film.  Now there are plenty of those flicks getting released that offer a bare minimum thrills because apparently making horror movies is a cheap and quick way to make a buck.  There are too many that get released that just come and go, but sometimes there is a movie that sticks out of the muck of gore, violent, and jumpy movies.  Mama managed to be one of those movies that made for a great view in a crowded theater because it relied on something that a of horror movies are missing, true old school scares.  Nothing beats a well timed and rightfully placed “boo”.

Mama 1a

Guillermo del Toro presents Mama, a supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their mother was murdered. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night. The day their father killed their mother, sisters Victoria and Lilly vanished near their suburban neighborhood. For five long years, their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), have been madly searching for them. But when, incredibly, the kids are found alive in a decrepit cabin, the couple wonders if the girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home. (c)Universal

If del Toro is involved with a project, I tend to pay close attention cause lord he is awesome and anything he works on is awesome by proxy.  Mama was certainly a movie that I only wanted to watch in a crowded theater, because I knew there was going to be some entertainment by just being there in a theater.  I didn’t expect to to get a movie that offered true scares and nothing cheap in the way of frights.  No gore, no violence, just a solid horror flick that certainly new the right moments to bring out the best scare and I ended up loving this a lot more for that than anything else.

Mama 1b

The movie does have a few flaws, namely the convoluted plot and some of the story issues from the script, you a good old school scare flick.  The confusing aspect comes from the purpose of the spirit/monster/whatever and its reasons for existing more than anything else in the flick.  I guess there was some sort of explanation that happened during dialogue between Annabel and the people of the hospital, but you don’t get anything concrete.  Overlooking a few of those aspects yields a scary movie with fine acting from Jessica Chastain.  It was interesting seeing her in this sort of role or even in a horror movie for that matter.  After watching her in Zero Dark Thirty, it was great seeing her take a shot at horror with a script that could have been a lot better, but she still conveyed that sense of dread and fright.  Also the Kingslayer himself, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, has a role in the movie, but minor at best even though he is playing Annabel’s husband.

The monster/spirit of the film though is really what gets you.  It’s not that the figure is horrific, but contorted in a way that makes it unnerving to watch move on screen, despite the ability to float.  The twisted face of Mama and the way she moves makes her a far more frightening horror figure than some sort of masked killer or another faceless entity.  The brief moments she comes on the screen is this ominous presence, lurking in the background only to quickly move in and out of sight.  The effectiveness of her appearance, the perfect timing, everything makes for a solid scare and it was great to see a lot of people in the theater jump and scream at the right moments.  It’s a horror movie that feel refreshing to see after being drenched in blood and gore time after time.  The cast is the great, the horror figure is terrifying to watch, and the script/plot has some issues, but you just get absorbed in this movie and that is what makes this a fun watch.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

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