Notable Cast: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nelisse
Don't get me wrong, I love Guillermo Del Toro, but having his name attached to something as a producer doesn't necessarily make great films. So when "Mama" arrived in theaters, I actually felt inclined to skip out on the film considering some mixed reviews and plenty of my horror friends claiming it to be 'not scary at all.' When I did eventually get around to watching it, my expectations were low. Perhaps it was these low expectations that made me enjoy the film for the most part, despite some glaring issues with its script and progressions, but for a modern 'ghost film' it did was it needed to throw in a few jump scares and a solid enough concept. I do think they could have pushed it further though.
When two girls are found abandoned, left for dead, in a deserted cabin in the woody wilderness for five years, their uncle Luke (Coster-Waldau) and his rocker girlfriend (Chastain) decide its their responsibility to help them. What they don't realize is that the reason these two girls, now 8 and 6 respectively, only survived with the help of an entity they call 'Mama.' A ghostly figure who's malicious intent for the loss of her 'children' may cause some problems for Luke and Annabel. Problems that may cost a few lives in the process.
|"You want me to do what with my hair?"|
|Ghosts are always funny...except in "Ju-On." That shit is straight up scary.|
Unfortunately, it's during the third act that the film tends to fall apart. Firstly, "Mama" starts to cave into to modern tendencies. Instead of using the atmosphere and tension so carefully crafted in the first portion, the film then decides to focus on modern jump scares padded with far too much CGI and a endless need to "show the audience too much." The film also decides to negate logic in many moments for the sake of creating more scares. Our psychologist makes a random trip to the cabin at night, a woman gets possessed by Mama...or something, and we are lead to finale that doesn't make a whole lot of sense considering the direction of focus of how the plot was moving. It was relatively frustrating to watch a decent horror film succumb to modern tendencies and fall apart in front of my eyes.
Written By Matt Reifschneider