Monday, February 04, 2013

Review - Mama (2013)

Starring Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Daniel Kash.
Directed by Andres Muschietti.

Andres Muschietti makes his directorial debut with Mama, which is also based on his 2008 Spanish short film of the same name. The film is produced by Guillermo Del Toro who is well known in the horror genre so I was kinda hoping this film would turn out to be better than expected. So far, it is doing well at the box office but Mama  proved to be just another typical 21st century horror movie... unfortunately.

The movie is basically about two toddlers who go missing after the murder of their mother. The girls' father flees the scene with them but the car goes over a precipice and the family finds themself at a strange cabin in the woods. The father is killed by a strange ghost inhabiting the cabin and for five years.....FIVE years - the ghost looks after the two girls. However the girls uncle (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) refused to give up on the search for his two nieces. He eventually finds them and takes them into his home, only to realize they weren't the only ones he took in.

There were some character development in Mama. At first I was unsure of Jessica Chastain's character but then I thought she took charge of the film at the right time. She starts out as this care-free, punk-rock chick but develops nicely into a more caring individual. The little girls, Lili and Victoria (played by Isabelle Nelisse and Megan Charpentier) played their respective roles well. They were creepily good, worst they had developed a mother and daughter-like bond with the ghost. However I thought Coster-Waldau's character became lost as the movie in the long run -- much to my dismay.

Unfortunately poor writing is an attribute of this film. It left me with unanswered questions which could have easily been answered. Even the first scene in the movie is a big "WHY". I dont believe certain aspects of this film were explained clearly, or at all.  And of course the movie just had to go ahead and showcase typical horror cliches which made it become so predictable. Spoiler - there was a scene in the movie when Nikolaj had a vision of his dead brother which I thought would develop the plot. Unfortunately that scene had absolutely no relevance to me. This film is so lazily written, especially in regards to the reason behind the ghost's existence in this plot.

However on a positive note, there were scenes in Mama that will have you frightened and probably jump out of your seat. The encounters between the film's characters and the ghost were well done. You could see every detail, plus you saw the ghost upclose and live instead of some blurry figure creeping in the dark the entire movie. I thought the cabin scene with the doctor was very creepy, although its relevance was not stated clearly either. To make matters worse, the ending was a bit weird, anti-climatic and didn't do much for me.

Overall, because of Mama's poor writing, it just felt like previous horror movies stitched up together. Nothing really original but it will definitely provide you with some scares. The horror genre continues to be unimpressive.

Rating: 5/10

Movies Also Watched:

A Royal Affair (2012)
One of the best movies of 2012. An engaging and well written story of true events, accompanied by solid performances. I thought it captured the 18th century well. - 9/10

Promised Land (2012)
A movie that never quite left its comfort zone. Promised Land showed promise but despite a good cast, the performances were stale and the movie dry and anti-climatic. - 5.5/10

The Howling (1981)
A quite entertaining addition to the werewolf horror spooks of the 80's. - 8/10

American Splendor (2003)
One of the most creative and entertaining biopics I've ever seen. - 10/10

A Prophet (2009)
Brutal, engaging and satisfying. A realistic look at prison life and Malik's transformation. - 9/10

Badlands (1973)
Martin Sheen was so awesome in this. Real likeable characters and a glorious debut from Malick. - 10/10

Days of Heaven (1978)
Malick's followup to Badlands was nothing short of spectacular. Breathtaking imagery and an interesting story. - 10/10

Pi (1998)
Aronofsky ventures into surrealism and portrays an interesting and engaging story of a man obsessed with number theories and nature. Impressive debut from Aronofsky. - 9/10

Dazed and Confused (1993)
An amusing and rowdy last day of school. The casting was perfect and an overall fun film by director Linklater. - 10/10

American Graffiti (1973)
The true pioneer of enjoyable and rowdy teen comedies. - 9/10

Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989)
A weird, sensual but solid debut from Steven Soderbergh. - 8.5/10

Animal Kingdom (2010)
A tense and ruthless portrayal of a dysfunctional family. The ending was perfection. - 9.5/10

1 comment:

  1. It looks like everyone is inspired by "The Blair witch Project" and "Paranormal Activity" and lot of movies can be seen now a days.