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|Index||305 reviews in total|
I had high hopes after reading some very positive reviews and after the
impressive performance Chastain gave in Zero Dark Thirty. For the first
half of the movie those expectations seemed to be largely met. Some
good old school horror thrills as others have said. Things got more and
more ridiculous as the movie progressed and had to reveal more of what
was going on to keep the suspense going. It was still not too bad until
the ending which all I can say (without giving anything away) was
completely ridiculous. The first sign of trouble for me was when a
character jumps into their SUV and drives into the middle of nowhere to
a creepy old cabin by themselves, timed to arrive at night, with
nothing but a flashlight. That's just the first hint of how dumb things
Yea, it's about ghosts so you have to kind of leave your logic and reason at the door but the ending was bad enough that it transcends that. I'm not even getting into the ridiculous fact there are all these strange things and sounds going on in the house day after day with a couple creepy kids acting even more creepy when it happens and the parental characters don't even bother to look into it. Not even so much as opening closets after seeing something go in there.
The only reason to watch this movie is for Chastain who made the most of a ridiculous script.
Are your kidding me a 6.5? This movie is a great story offering a thriller in ways you are not expecting. At times del Toro makes you think he is doing the 'same old' horror, but no, he turns around on you. He weaves a great story that will actually tug at your heart if you are intelligent enough to understand the story being told! Oh yeah, making you jump in your seat with well placed spooky! It will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you wonder, what is next. The acted is wonderful and the little actresses are golden. Hmm, I need ten lines for a review but I do not want to give away too much. I would rank this higher than his other mover, "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark".
I liked the structure, design and vibe of this movie but everything
else was kinda mediocre. It's basically a ghost haunting movie, of
course the ghosts in different movies haunts for different reasons. But
this one is a ghost haunting movie. Where two sibling kids that move
like a spider Gollum especially the younger one that gets found in a
small house in the woods. And a couple decides to take care of them
because the guy feels responsible because they are the daughters of his
brother who disappeared. And the 30yr old garage band girl who is the
girlfriend of the guy because she feels that she needs to put up with
it. This movie does a decent job of making a dis-likable character
somewhat likable near the end. Like I said the structure, design and
vibe adds a lot to the creepiness but when it comes to the story, it
doesn't really stand out. This movie is much better than "Don't Be
Afraid Of The Dark" which is another movie presented by Guillermo del
Toro. But it doesn't reach the psychedelic dreamlike vibe that is
creepy or even scary and yet beautiful although it tries to be. The
film "The Orphanage" comes to mind.
Mama left me very disappointed! The special effects were very cheep looking, the whole movie was not scary. The acting was just alright, nothing special. The movie drug in the middle, kinda got boring. The dialogue wasn't all that great either. One part I did enjoy was Jessica Chastain, she was a good fit for her role, and was very enjoyable. Also, the ending was very unsatisfactory to me, it was sort of like a dead end to me. Overall, this film is boring, bland, poorly put together, and to be honest not worth your time. I think they had a good concept, but ultimately just failed to deliver and follow through on that concept. 3/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
MAMA is a slick, stylish and scary flick from master horror producer
Guillermo Del Toro and newbie director Andy Muschietti. MAMA delivers
plenty of screams and cover-your-eyes, plug your ears moments, as well
as a great story and terrific cast, a hat trick that is a rare
occurrence within the ho hum horror genre of recent years. There are no
giant masked men chasing dopey teens through a forest in MAMA, Instead
this thoughtful and dark (and I mean DARK) drama features the ghost of
an uber creepy madwoman who is both terrifying and pitiful, two rather
disturbing young girls who love and fear her and, our heroine, a former
grunge rock queen who doesn't even like kids. Go figure.
MAMA opens as Lucas, the father of little Victoria and Lily (darling little girls, these two), a banker with money and marriage troubles, kills his colleagues and wife, then takes the girls into what looks like the frozen tundra, all in order to kill them, then himself. After his car skids off of a mountain road, the trio find a deserted cabin (filled with what looks like really fabulous vintage furniture). Dad pulls a pistol out to dispense with the older of the girls, Victoria (around 5 years old or so). As he shakily aims, a dark, floating presence grabs and kills him. Victoria and her little sister Lily (around 2 I'd say) are left alone in this creepy cabin. Well not alone. They've got Mama to care for them, and over the next five years this skinny, angular ghoulish figure feeds the girls cherries (I have no idea why, aside from the fact that cherries are known as the "Devils Fruit") and cares for them as only a ghost can. That is to say, not really at all.
The girls, when finally found by their Dad's brother, are as feral as cats, filthy and scampering about the cabin in a very odd manner. Not since Regan spider-walked down the stairs in THE EXORCIST have children looked so darned disturbing moving about on all fours. The girls are moved to a psychiatric facility in preparation for placement with their uncle Jeffrey and his girlfriend Annabelle. And guess who comes along for the ride.
Jessica Chastain plays Annabelle (and by the way, is there any better young actress out there right now? Chastain is just marvelous in everything, including MAMA), main squeeze of Uncle Jeffrey. With her Joan Jett black shag and tattoo sleeves, Annabelle is not a motherly figure, in fact the film opens as she thanks her lucky stars that a pregnancy test she has just taken is negative. But because she loves Jeffrey, Annabelle give motherhood the old college try, although mothering these two very messed up young girls, now 6 and 11, would challenge Mother Goose herself. Unfortunately Mama takes poor Uncle Jeffrey out as soon as the new family moves in together, and as he lies in a coma, Annabelle is left to deal with the girls and their ghostly savior, who is also more than a little jealous.
Tied up in this nightmare is the girls psychiatrist, who pretends to have their welfare at heart but is actually searching for proof of the paranormal, as well as another relative, an Aunt who doesn't think Jeff and Annabelle have what it takes to parent these poor little nutcases. Lily in particular is disturbed past the point of redemption. To her, Mama is a real parent, far more real than Jeffrey and Annabelle, and Lily cannot make the jump to any kind of normal childlike behavior, continuing to eat weird stuff (mostly moths!) and play with a gibbering, cavorting (and jointless, it seems) MAMA, who is seen peeking out of the closet, from under the bed, or just about anywhere that will really, really scare you. Victoria, who was able to retain some language skills and has at least some memory of an ordered life, is more adaptable, and as she becomes closer to Annabelle, becomes ever more fearful of Mama's jealous rages.
The film travels to the logical conclusion of a horror film of this sort, the final fight between Mama and Annabelle for the lives of the children. And even though the ending is, for the most part, predictable, the journey is so darkly told, so evocative and creepy that MAMA will play around the corners and edges of your memory long after watching it. This is a horror story of the first degree, with lots of jump in your seat scares and plenty of hold your breath moments. I loved it!
I'd recommend watching MAMA a few times. I had to, because the first time I sat through it I was so darned terrified that more than half of the movie went unwatched (my eyes were closed and my fingers were in my ears). There are lots of interesting little tidbits that only become apparent upon the second or even third viewing. For example, watch the vignette of the drawings that the girls make that takes place under the opening titles. It will give you some great insight as to how the girls lived in the forest those five years (what's up with those dead raccoons?). The cherry thing is never explained (the mountain of cherry pits in the cabin is just plain weird), but you'll understand MAMA better if you can watch it without putting your hands over your eyes.
This is a definite five star movie, in my humble opinion. I love a good horror film, but really good ones are few and far between. MAMA is everything a great horror flick should be. Well crafted, interesting and most importantly, scarier than s***! Watch it in the dark, with someone you love. Now that's entertainment!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mama (2013): Dir: Andres Muschietti / Cast: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nelisse, Daniel Kash: This is a disgrace to horror films. Listening to two young girls go about whispering "mama" over and over is enough to make someone flop their head against a wall. It involves two girls who are discovered in a cabin after five years. Their father proved a moron on icy roads and crashed over an embankment then he takes the two girls to this cabin where he attempts to kill them and is vanquished by a smokey wicked witch of the west. They are found and sent to live with their uncle and his rock chick girlfriend. She is played by the talented Jessica Chastain in what is low grade material compared to her acclaim work in Zero Dark Thirty. It is established early that she doesn't want children so the screenplay knocks off the boyfriend when he sees black moths emerging from a wall. So it forces her into that clichéd pathetic "I suddenly like children" bullshit. Other than the special effects there is nothing to recommend here. We have a witch who can move about like a bad wig on the floor. Director Andres Muschietti seems to be unintentionally making a comedy. Chastain looks lovely in her rocker clothes but this is beneath her, and the wig is no help either. Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau spends most of the film in a hospital bed. We have idiots roaming about the woods at night, which is real swift. The youngest girl chows down everything from moths to hair like a human shock vac. With the most laughable witch ever conceived, this film becomes about as frightening as a Kool Aid commercial. Score: 1 / 10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A man kills several of his Business partners, his wife and then kidnaps
After crashing his car, he and his children discover an old hut in the middle of the woods, and seek shelter.
When the man realises he has lost everything, he goes to kill his children, but an unseen force prevents this and the children are left on there own, until they are discovered much, much later.
But who has been nurturing them, and why do they keep climbing the furniture?...
Despite the great premise, and some wonderful mise en scene, it's pretty much more of the same old stuff here.
The film begins with a wonderful opening, proper spine tingling stuff, but after the children have moved in with Chastain, it loses its bottle and goes for the jump scares, and the old CGI ghost.
People get killed because the children look up into the corner of a room, and Chastain has Weird, but beautiful nightmares.
The ending is bizarre, but brave, and it appears that the writers have come up with a cracking opening, pretty cool ending, but just don't seem bothered by the bulk of the middle.
So its a little better than expected, but then, I wasn't expecting much.
So here's the thing about Mama: you can have all the outstanding performances, spot-on camera work and decent special effects you like, when you lack atmosphere, all is lost in the horror genre, and let that be what this film's weakest point is. The tricky bit about genuine fear is the thin line between tension and confronting whatever's lurking in the dark: most horror films nowadays mistake suspense with making whatever it is the movie's throwing at you go "boo" in your face. This movie, however, takes the other extreme: nearly nothing happens throughout the whole movie, aside from a few scary bits (first scene with the butterfly!), but the legitimately creepy moments are way too far in between to fully enjoy or even notice on first glance, for that matter. The movie's ending is the weakest of all. I won't spoil: but trust me, after you're done with it you'll wonder when the Disney logo'll appear in the credits. Don't waste your time on this, except if your 12-year old wants to see his first horror move THAT bad or something.
MAMA has plenty of potential, I'll give it that. It's produced by no
less than Guillermo del Toro, a man who's had a hand in some of the
best ghost stories of recent years (THE ORPHANAGE, THE DEVIL'S
BACKBONE). It stars Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau, an actor currently riding
high thanks to the success of GAME OF THRONES. Unfortunately, though,
there are simply too many problems with it to make it a truly
In essence, this is another clichéd ghost story along the lines of THE WOMAN IN BLACK or INSIDIOUS. Yet again we're treated to a pair of creepy children who have an invisible friend - except in this case it's a surrogate mother figure who's determined to look out for "her" wards no matter what. It all boils down to attempts at creeping dread, ominous shots of wardrobes and out-of-focus ghosts in the backgrounds of shots, and that sort of thing.
What I'm trying to say is that it's all rather predictable and a little wearying in places. The cast work hard but the writing isn't particularly strong when it comes to the characters. Coaster-Waldau spends most of the movie off-screen in a hospital bed, leaving a clearly struggling Jessica Chastain to hold the reins. Unfortunately, Chastain is saddled with one of the most selfish, self-centred protagonists I've seen in a while, leaving a huge dead spot in the centre of the movie.
Sadly, MAMA becomes increasingly silly as it goes on, with more and more of the CGI ghost (who looks like...a CGI ghost) appearing and failing to frighten the viewer. JU-ON: THE GRUDGE this ain't. And it all ends in a rather twee, predictable and unsatisfying way, which is a real shame. A film bogged down by predictability then, instead of genuinely novel ideas.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was an OK film until the end. Towards the end of the film, they try to recreate the classic horror film scene in Psycho where the chair is turned around to reveal a dead person. In Mama, they tried to recreate this classic scene from horror film history by having the Aunt be standing there twitching, as the girls walk up to her from behind. When they get close to her, she turns round to reveal her face. This would have been a bad scene due to the fact it is blatantly a ripoff of the scene from Psycho; however, they made a bad scene worse by having the worst laughably bad CGI/Mask in the world. It's less scary than in Psycho, and that was 1960 and Mama was in 2013. If that isn't bad enough, they tried to use this trick TWICE! Most of the film is decently written and the children are surprisingly good actresses for their age, but the ending is as bad as those "lik if yoo cri errytim" comments on YouTube.
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