Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. The evil presence possesses them until only one is left to fight for survival.
Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the nation's abandoned ... See full summary »
When a teenager and her mother move to a little town, the girl finds that an accident happened in the house at the end of the street. But things get complicated when she befriends a boy who is the only survivor in the accident.
An investigation into a government cover-up leads to a network of abandoned train tunnels deep beneath the heart of Sydney. As a journalist and her crew hunt for the story it quickly becomes clear the story is hunting them.
Six tourists hire an extreme tour guide who takes them to the abandoned city Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. During their exploration, they soon discover they are not alone.
Olivia Taylor Dudley
The senior partner of an investment brokerage Jeffrey has a breakdown and kills his two associates and his wife. Then he takes his three-year old daughter Victoria and the one-year old daughter Lilly and drives his car through a winding snowing road. He has a car accident and fall off a cliff, but he brings his daughters to an abandoned and isolated cabin to kill them, but the children are saved by a creepy ghostly creature. Five years later, Jeffrey's brother Lucas finds the children that were raised without social relationship and claim that they have been raised by Mama. Lucas disputes the custody with the children's grandmother but Dr. Dreyfuss, who is studying the girls, selects Lucas to take care of the children. Lucas lives with his girlfriend Annabel, who plays in a rock'n'roll band, and Victoria and Lilly moves to their house. Soon Lucas and Annabel find that the girls were not delusional and they are not alone in the house. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Mama is played by a man, Javier Botet, who has Marfan syndrome that give him a slender body and long fingers. See more »
When Victoria hits Lucas when he first visits her following her return from the wilderness, his hair is ruffled. His hair then changes several times between shots. See more »
There is no rational explanation that supports this theory. But it is only the ability to embrace the different reality, that makes science expand beyond the limits of what we know. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs.
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The title may be tacky, but this Canadian-Spanish co-production, with Guillermo del Toro lending his name as producer, is one of the better horror films to have come out from the West in recent years, despite being filled with the usual clichés, actually contain a proper story, and delivered really well in terms of chills, thrills and everything that's necessary to creep you out and make you jump at your seat. Co-written and directed by Andres Muschietti, Mama shows how it boils down to story, building upon his short film of the same name some 5 years ago, and a solid cast to gloss over the expected bag of tricks.
Many of the clichés were put to good effect, which in some ways you'd come to expect certain things to happen in a certain way, and they did. While it may be blunted in terms of anticipation and build up, it didn't shy away from delivering that sucker punch when required, and kept good work in framing and editing for maximum impact when the moment called for the unabashed dip into tried and tested elements. One thing you'll note is how assured Muschietti's direction is, as if doing it all for the very first time, with the aim of wanting to stir up its scares really well. Liberal use of CG also helped, but never done in slip-shoddy fashion, which added a layer of positive production values to the film.
I mean, there's creepy children, a ghoul that gate-crashes a reunion of sorts, and the usual spooky house no thanks to noises during strange timings, and the rote blinking of lights. All ingredients that you've seen utilized to the death in various horror film productions, but coming together really well in Mama, playing to the strengths of these elements while fiercely ignoring the negativity associated with lazier filmmakers who just slap these elements together, expecting them to work. It's not a special effects extravaganza when it's not required, and Mama showed just how its story and characters were allowed to lead, rather than to have strangely illogical moments, even for a horror film, fall coincidentally into place.
Jessica Chastain may be the latest IT girl in Hollywood, and it's encouraging to note she's really going all out to take on various roles in different genres, despite her more recent art house leanings of late. Here, she's the quintessential scream queen, albeit only just, given her role of Annabel being a rock star wannabe, sporting almost full body tattoos that betray a rather soft demeanour, when her maternal instincts get called upon to look after the nieces of her boyfriend Lucas (Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau). They were found after having disappeared for five years, which the opening sequence and credits would have pointed to an unnatural upbringing under the hands of the titular Mama ghoul. Battling for custody, it is with reluctance that the couple take the children under their wing, probably because Annabel knows she'll eventually be dumped with the kids, which did happen.
And the entire middle act is when the fun begins, for fans of horror films forking out good money to be entertained with the roller coaster ride of scares. Muschietti and his story collaborators Neil Cross and Barbara Muschietti managed to keep an entire back story up their sleeves, to reveal them in teasing fashion, which worked to keep you engaged throughout. And credit must go to Muschietti and his DP Antonio Riestra for having framed the initial introduction to the ghoulish elements that went for maximum WTF surprises, especially with sleight of hand techniques that didn't jar the narrative, nor relied on the necessity of a jump cut edit to hammer home its creepier moments. It grows, slowly, and that's one master stroke Mama had that worked wonders.
This is the second film in a row that had its child actors provide top notch performances. Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nelisse play sisters, who with the aid of CG move around complete with unnatural mannerisms, having it in term to creep you out, before having to develop their characters into emotional cores that added a lot more depth to this film as it steamrolls its way to the finale. Andres Muschietti is the name to watch now for taking something that's expected to be cliché in a horror film, but fulfilled more than you'd bargain for. A definite recommend!
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