Friday, July 19, 2013

"Mama" Movie Review – Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Proof

Runtime: 100 minutes
Release Date: January 18, 2013
Rating: PG-13
Director: Andres Muschietti

"Mama" opens with a man driving home erratically, grabbing his kids, and taking off again as a report on the radio reveals that he murdered his business partners and wife. After dragging his kids out into the woods, his daughter breaks her glasses and can only see fuzzy shapes. Just as he goes to kill his kids, a dark shadow comes out of nowhere and kills him.

Annabel is a rocker more concerned with her band and music than anything else in her life, but she's forced to make some changes when her boyfriend (husband?) Lucas becomes a sudden father. Two men find the girls living in the woods in the same abandoned cabin where their father took them, and Lucas gains temporary custody. The doctor agrees to let them move into a new house for free as long as they can monitor the girls at all times.

As Annabel is nowhere near ready to be a mother, she thinks it sounds like a good idea, but she isn't quite ready to leave her old life behind. The two girls keep talking about Mama, a figure that only they can see. The doctor reassures them that the girls simply created a fake protector to keep themselves alive in the woods, but as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Mama might be more than just a figment of their imagination.

Let's get this out of the way right now: I didn't like "Mama" at all. Annabel is an extremely irritating character because she's written as a stereotype. She's a musician, so she naturally must have black hair, tattoos, and a surly attitude. Even though she thinks she might be pregnant at the beginning, she clearly has no interest in raising children or taking care of the two girls. She is so unsympathetic that at times I even found myself wondering why Lucas stayed with her.

It also felt like the film used most of the top scenes in the trailers. The trailers showed so many creepy and dark scenes that I expected more from the movie, but it completely failed to deliver. I actually wound up feeling bad for the two little girls in the film because they get stuck with the worst caretakers ever. It actually seems like they would do better left in the woods with some dark presence.

And, don't get me started on the end of the movie! For 90 minutes, we sit there and watch Annabel say she doesn't want kids and spends little time bonding with the girls. She finally has one moment with one of the two, but she goes right back to acting like a bitch. That completely changes at the end when she realizes that she does want kids. It just left me scratching my head and wondering where it all came from.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't like this movie either. For a film to truly scare me in that quiet, creepy way that I prefer, there has to be some plausibility- some feeling that it really MIGHT happen - but from the very beginning with this one - like when they came upon the cabin with it's outdoor birdbaths and 70's furniture, I was like "yeah, right". What is a place like that doing out in the middle of the woods? No driveway, not even a path to get to it, yet it is so isolated that no one comes across it and the little girls in it for 5 years? How does a spirit pick someone up and break their neck? And where the heck did the ghost get all those cherries that the girls survived on? The plot was so dumb that even a few slightly creepy moments did nothing for me. Can't believe I even made it to the ridiculous end.