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A Fantastic Film Experience
I went into this film with high expectations. I am a horror movie junkie, despite their general lack of critical acclaim. They should be entertaining, even if they don't give you nightmares. After first viewing the trailer over the summer (rolling in for The Possession), I eagerly anticipated the January release. Seeing that Guillermo del Toro's name was attached to the project made me even more giddy. I saw it opening night.
I was not disappointed. Not in the slightest. In fact, I was happier with the movie than I intended to be. Believe me, that's saying something.
Not one scared by stories themselves, but solely by moments that utilize the element of surprise, I have never jumped out of my skin more times during a single film than I did for "Mama." That pretty much makes it the scariest movie that I have ever seen. However, seeing as different things scare different people, that is most likely not the same for everyone. If you aren't a jumper, don't worry, it's still very much worth it.
The story is not your typical ghost story. It has a terrific exposition to settle you into the film's focus. The situation is solitary enough that you won't yourself experience it, but isn't so far-fetched that it's unbelievable. The characters are both likable and flawed, which gives them dimension and makes them more interesting. And the girls are adorable, but not so cute that it detracts from the terror. As you can see, the film is very much balanced. A good film needs that balance.
As far as scares go, some are quite subtle. A few you don't particularly realize are happening until something changes, and you're caught off-guard. Seeing that the premise is supernatural, the idea of an elusive antagonist is key. You can't see too much of what you're supposed to be afraid of, and for the majority of the movie, you don't. The cloud of mystery surrounding Mama herself is hauntingly beautiful, and will both demonize and delight you. By the time you finish it, you will most likely feel both happy and sad, and will not know where your emotions should be.
I highly recommend "Mama" to anyone, because it is not your stereotypical horror movie. Its distinct lack of gore, and high level of well-crafted story, makes for an exciting experience for both horror lovers, and those who don't necessarily appreciate the genre. If you get the chance to watch it, take it immediately. If you aren't given the chance to watch it, make the chance yourself.
Movie 43 (2013)
Please, Do Not Watch
I preface this review by saying that the only saving grace to this movie is the fact that I extorted money out of my best friend to pay for the ticket, and it did not come out of my own pocket. Had I paid for this movie myself, I would have probably stormed the box office, and demanded my money back.
That being said, I appreciated one joke from the whole ninety minute (and thank whatever deity you worship that it's not any longer) run time. It occurred during the Superhero segment, and is so subtle that I was the only one in the theater who laughed at it, and then had to turn and explain it to those I was with as they looked at me weird. That should be an indication.
The cast SHOULD be the saving grace of the movie, but instead, you just wonder why they agreed to do something of this caliber. Hugh Jackman is just coming off of a Golden Globe win and is preparing to clinch the win off of his Oscar nomination. He shouldn't need to cash a paycheck that badly that he is willing to don the vulgar prosthetics that he does for the segment. The movie (for film is far too charitable of a designation for this) features a whole myriad of extremely respectable actors and actresses that should not be slumming. The entire budget, I'm sure, was spent on hiring quality talent to mask the complete lack of quality in the movie.
It is cinematically boring, and quite awfully written. Anyone who found this movie humorous should be tested to see if they even have an IQ. The jokes come in onslaughts so brutal you would think you were under heavy fire, and it's about as pleasant as that scenario. You will most likely be physically uncomfortable watching it. The level of sexually explicit material and unsavory language is through the roof, and even if you like raunchy, the amount is simply too much. It is unbelievable, some of the things they make light of, and the situations they depict. None of it is witty, or subtly metaphorical, or smart. The worst part is that just when you think it's over, you're wrong.
If you have any smidgen of self-respect, please run screaming from the room if you are ever asked to watch it. I would easily say it was the worst movie I have ever had the displeasure to view, and that by the end of it, I was questioning if I was sane enough not to begin clawing my own eyes out. Needless to say, my best friend had his movie-choosing privileges revoked until further notice, as punishment for his decision. Please take my advice, I beg you. Do not watch.