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Mama
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Mama More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Suspenseful and Creepy. Finally a decent horror movie!

7/10
Author: sum518 from United States
18 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Victoria and Lilly are abandoned in the woods for 5 years. Someone took care of them. Lucas never gave up on finding his nieces while almost going broke in the process. When they're finally found, he and Annabel give up their child free lives to take in the girls. All is not well. Lucas worries about how they will support two children without steady incomes, but he's determined to make it work for the girl's sake. Annabel resents that she has been thrust into the mommy role, caring for children that aren't hers and have a boatload of issues. But there's an even bigger problem. Something has come back with them. Who is Mama?

I won tickets to see an advanced screening of the movie and I went in not knowing what to expect. I saw the original 3 minute film and was amazed. I've been disappointed by the current US made horror films constantly rehashing the same plot. With that in mind, I wasn't too sure I'd enjoy this one.

I loved this movie! Not only was it scary, the story left a lasting effect on me. It didn't rely on cheap scares, although there are some jump scares in the movie. It was haunting and beautiful. I cared about the characters. Mama's story is so sad and tragic. The special effects were great and didn't need the CGI to carry the story. The young actresses that played Victoria and Lily give an excellent performance. I'm not giving away the ending but I will say we talked about the significance of it long after we left the theater. Some folks on here were worried that the PG-13 rating would weaken the movie. It didn't. This film was scary without the blood or gore.

This was a great movie for anyone over 13. Please leave the kids at home. Some idiot brought two kids under 10 to the screening. I'm sure those kids will have nightmares for weeks.

I give Mama a 7 out of 10

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Promising start and some nice sound and cinematography but story falls flat

5/10
Author: gtylerpayne from United States
22 September 2016

I didn't really care for this movie too much overall. It drew me in right from the beginning and it stays entertaining enough, but the CGI is not great and it quickly turned into a cheesy ghost story without anything original to offer.

It reminds me a lot of other ghost story movies. It has a similar plot to "The Ring" in a way, but is less suspenseful and doesn't work as well. It shows the "ghost" a lot, probably too much, instead of leaving more for the imagination, which left me pretty bored in the second half. After it is shown that the ghost can appear whenever and do actual physical harm, it becomes kind of silly to keep dragging the movie on with close calls.

The ending was terrible in my opinion, and I couldn't even finish the last few minutes of the film. I don't want to spoil it, but I will say that its overly dramatic and emotional.

The sound design is great and the film has nice production value other than the CGI. I think this director shows a lot of promise and would do better with a better script.

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Top-Shelf Craftsmanship, But Cookie-Cutter Story

5/10
Author: Pozdnyshev from Over There
12 September 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Okay, so some guy goes nuts and shoots his wife. He takes his two daughters out to an abandoned cabin and is about to kill them, too, but is then stopped by a ghost who happens to be at the cabin. Great... Okay, so it was a ghost who was maybe unjustly murdered in a similar way. I can buy that.

But then, even after paying some guys to look all over the place for his body, the guy's brother only finds this cabin (and the girls, who are still there) -- five years later. Really? It took you all that time? Okay, fine, whatever. So the girls are feral and apparently have been helped along by this mysterious, vengeful spirit which they call "Mama."

The guy's brother, and his weird over-the-hill Goth girlfriend, agree to look after the children as they are rehabilitated with the help of a psychologist. Unfortunately, this spirit follows them.

Cue faux-creepy dream sequences, jump scares, and the psychologist slowly uncovering the truth that The Supernatural Is Real.

Turns out "Mama" is the ghost of some violently crazy lady in the nineteenth century who died while drowning a baby she stole from a local church. There is a dream sequence showing this which is genuinely disturbing, although in a disgusting snuff-film kind of way.

"Mama," predictably, wreaks havoc on everyone involved, including killing several people with more ease than a trained assassin. Call me a parapsychology nerd, but human ghosts generally do not have this kind of power. "Mama" slinks around and offs victims like a multi-dimensional Green Beret. This just makes it silly to me.

The ending was just confusing. It's funny, everything about this movie was perfect except for the story. The acting, the photography, the music, and the editing was all incredibly seamless. But the story was bland and cookie-cutter, just another forgettable horror flick.

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forget to write the second half of the movie

4/10
Author: MikesIDhasbeentaken from United Kingdom
2 September 2016

As other reviewers have mentioned, this starts with so much promise, but then nothing happens,

it's as if someone had a really good idea, and they decided to make a movie on that basis, but there was nothing else other that that idea so they drafted someone else in to end the movie as painlessly as possible..

which failed, as it's very painful,

no substance in this and even if your a horror movie fan I'd stay away from this. first hour or so isn't bad, but it really goes down hill from there

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'Mama' May Be Clichéd, Contrived & Conventional But It Still Boasts Some Genuinely Unnerving Moments

Author: CinemaClown from India
24 August 2016

Marred by our own familiarity with the genre yet managing to be quite effective when the occasion calls for it, Andrés Muschietti's feature-length adaptation of his short film of the same name is consistent in its delivery of old-school scares, and brilliantly keeps its eerie vibe alive for the major portion of its runtime but what brings it down is its overly sentimental & underwhelming ending.

The story of Mama concerns two young girls who were abandoned in a forest cabin and are found 5 years after their disappearance by a rescue party, that was sponsored by their uncle. Kept under psychiatric care for a while, the two girls prepare their return to domestic life under the custody of their uncle & his girlfriend but the young couple soon finds out that their nieces brought someone else with them.

Co-written & directed by Andrés Muschietti, Mama is crafted with care & affection and sets up its premise with an interesting, if far-fetched, prologue. Muschietti's direction is impressive for a first feature but his inexperience also surfaces, for he has no idea of how to handle the origin story of the ghostly figure we encounter in the story and ends up revealing too much, which in turn takes away the mystery and lessens the overall impact.

But Muschietti does exhibit talent when it comes to creating & sustaining a foreboding atmosphere and expertly carves out some truly chilling segments from time to time. The slow, steady & smooth manoeuvring of camera brings a discomforting element into the story while those sudden bursts of startling immediacy delivers the jump scares. Sound is brilliantly carried out & effectively utilised. Editing could've been better while its background score gives it a fairy tale vibe.

Coming to the acting department, the cast comprises of Jessica Chastain, Nicolaj Coaster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nélisse, Daniel Kash & others, with Charpentier & Nélisse stealing the show. Chastain also chips in with a sincere performance, and her chemistry with the two girls is a treat to watch. Both youngsters exhibit a great comfort in each other's company, because of which their relationship feels authentic & highly convincing. Coaster-Waldau doesn't have much to do but does fine with what he's given.

On an overall scale, Mama is clichéd, contrived & conventional but it also boasts some genuinely unnerving moments. It isn't difficult to see why Guillermo del Toro endorsed this chiller, for it has a fairy tale quality to it like his own features, is reliant on its ominous ambiance to deliver the scares, brims with rich themes, and chooses practical effects over CGI. Both its title & tagline hinted that emotions will come into play in this feature at some point but that very sentimentality also turns its final act into a bland affair and concludes the film on an unsatisfying note.

In short, Mama is another addition in the long list of horror films that started on a promising note, took a few turns that were simply uncalled for, and wrapped itself up with a climax that failed to deliver the impact its viewers were hoping for.

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Could've been better

6/10
Author: boris_kolarov from Bulgaria
24 July 2016

I'm happy for those who really loved this film. And it's unfortunate I'm not one of these people, considering I can enjoy movies everyone hates - like House of the Dead (guilty pleasure).

What does Mama succeeds is the story. It starts pretty interesting and the lore caught my attention. Surprising thing is the character development, especially in Annabele (hm, I've remembered most of the character's names - a good sign). The villain looks awesome - it's creepy, the CGI isn't something awful, and Mama has an interesting backstory. The actors give nice performances. Creativity is shown in some moments and concepts.

Despite the positives Mama has its problems. In the first arc Annabel shares too little dialogue and her acts make her kinda unlikable. What really turns me off is that the scenes in darker enviorments are... well, too dark. I'm not sure if the problem is with my TV but following the chases and most moments with Mama gets hard. The film can be a little too boring.

There are plenty of positive things to be said about 2013's Mama but the minuses can't be underestimated. It gets from BAD 1 to EXCELLENT 6 a GOOD 4 and I wish there was 6.5/10 so it'll remain 6/10.

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Spoiler Alert! Great movie but..stick to the script

6/10
Author: violajunerose from Osaka, Japan
7 June 2016

This review contains one or two spoilerish statements. Look, I loved this movie. I loved the visuals, I loved the way it was sympathetic to the ghost (because ghosts are people too). But I have to foul it because my two most hated tactics were used far too liberally:

1. Using the movie's description to explain the movie's plot. "The stock market crashes and a distraught father kills his employees and his wife then turns the gun on his daughters"....am I the only one who saw absolutely none of this actually IN the movie and, having not read the write-up, was left wondering....why in the name of creation did this dude up and try to kill his kids? Also, if this movie is set during the stock market crash of the 1920's, which it certainly looks like in the beginning, why is it that five years later the girls' uncle is wandering around the current era? A little continuity would have been nice, especially for those of us who love period clothing.

2. Using the storyboard to tell the story. The 11 minutes of children's drawings at the beginning were utterly pointless. I could have done without the scene where dad drives the girls off a cliff, finds some cabin, and tries to kill his kids by shooting them in the head, too. Realistically, if the movie had started with the brother trying to find his nieces and just EXPLAINING to his girlfriend that they had gone missing, nothing would be lost. Except a lot of confusion.

The CGI was cool and I really loved the mini actress who played Victoria. She had a great range but unfortunately, couldn't carry off the entire plot by herself. The brother is missing from 80% of the plot and it seems like he's only there to show us that....to....I have no idea. It's pretty clear that the actor doesn't know why he's there either. I don't think it's his fault that he has like 11 lines and none of them further the movie in the slightest. At least he got more lines than dad, who has one, spoken in a weird dream the brother has about him: another scene the movie could have done without.

This movie seems to be "about" the girls' stepmom, the contrast between her and mama. At the end of the movie, I ended up feeling sorry for the kid who went with her instead of the ghost, since throughout the movie she proves herself to be an unemployed, irresponsible, self-absorbed and generally uncaring addict. Literally the worst mother imaginable. If this movie was going for my heartstrings, it missed.

I feel like "mama" was the only sympathetic character. And they killed HER off before the movie even started. The end result was a movie that is also a bad joke. What happens when a Canadian and Spanish film maker get together? The story is overly complicated, overly emotional, disjointed, and too long.

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People are so easy to scary theses days.

1/10
Author: jacobjohntaylor1 from Barry's bay Ontario Canada
4 June 2016

This is not a scary movie. This movie badly written. There are good actors in this movie. But the story line is awful and the ending is awful. This is a ghost story. There a lot of good scary ghost movie. And this is not one of them. People are scared of this movie because they are to easy to scary. This is not a 6.2 that is just overrating it. This movie is a waste of time. It is also a waste of money. If you want to see a really scary movie. Do not see this one. It is just hype. I need more lines. And I am running out of things to say. This movie very very stinky. Awful movie awful movie awful movie awful movie. Andres Muschietti wrote it and directed it and he has no talent.

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I loved Mama, but it could be better

7/10
Author: Abdurrahman Dawi from Libya
14 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I got a tip from a friend to watch it as he recommended and i did last night, here's what i think of it: The movie success to hold you at your chair till the end i give it that, i can swear that there's a scary action every 2 minutes in this movie !, i loved the little girl acting (the youngest sister). as for what it made this movie don't take my excellent mark is first of all the story of Mama character, it feels like its not that tight character build, i mean all they say about is that she's crazy ... but why she is crazy ... its just like u feel that there's a gap in her story, secondly, the graphics and the CG is slightly below (very good) at the little sister scenes when she crawl, the uncle of the girls character is kinda too shallow in the story, he's character didn't do much. in general it was a joyful watch, i recommend it for thriller fans.

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Accepting Responsibility

6/10
Author: inspectors71 from Fly-Over Country
3 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My favorite part--or theme--of Andres Muschietti's Mama, a fairly standard screecher with more-than-average emotional weight, is watching Jessica Chastain's character get her hard shell chipped off trying to bond with two little girls who have had a 5-year stint in a cabin in the woods with a 130 year old ghost with the maternal instinct of a female grizzly.

As the movie progresses, I found myself falling into an appreciative love with Chastain's Annabel. She's all angry rock bassist tattoos sort of Goth makeup cleavage keep your hands to yourself you piece of crap. And her boyfriend, the girls' uncle, Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau, isn't much help because Mama decides it would be a hoot to damn-near kill him in a stair-fall, thereby putting the guardianship on Miss Goth.

Chastain is so angry about having to care for the kiddies--who brought the ghost with them to a university residence (but didn't sign an insurance waiver!)--but when pushed, she starts to channel a little gristliness herself.

I just liked her courage. Even though it's a horror movie, the humanity of Annabel shines through.

What was disappointing was the pat ending, the final fight for the lives and souls of the two girls and the inevitable hint of a sequel. What would have made Mama a complete emotional satisfaction would have had Chastain reasoning with and winning over the ghost, a Spanish actor named Javier Botet (no, I'm not getting bogged down in pronouns, so just read on), and convincing her to accept her loss, believe that God will forgive her sins, and let go.

I know that would have not been anywhere near as intense as the ending in the film, but it would have said something for the power of forgiveness and reason.

Yet, Mama managed to elicit from me what a good scarer should--I had to leave the lights on and cuddle with the chihuahua.

"Dude, let me go! I have cat food to eat!"

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