Tuesday, November 19, 2013

...Mama Movie Review...

Mama Movie Review (2013)
By Lindsey Pogue

Rating: PG-13/ 100 minutes

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

DirectorAndrés Muschietti
Producer: Guillermo del Toro

LP’s Rating: 5/5 stars


Basic Overview:  This is a story about two young girls who's father loses his mind, takes them out into the woods and attempts to kill them. Only the two girls are saved by "Mama" who becomes the very word. She feeds them, protects them, and plays with them all the while their uncle is searching for them, hoping that they're still alive...somewhere. Well, he gets his wish. After a handful of years he finds the girls, wild and living in an abandoned house in the woods. Little does he know that the two girls are not all he brings back into his home. He and his girlfriend get more than they bargain for when they try to civilize the girls, begin to love them, and are faced with the horrors that accompany life with the two girls. As the girls begin to see that Mama is dangerous and a threat to the family, the girls must choose between the spirit that raised them and their real family.

My Review. 
I really enjoyed this movie. In fact, this is the first "horror" movie I felt as if I was rooting for the monster as much as the protagonists. I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish and found it to be an overall satisfying and compelling horror movie, which I don't typically find. I went from not wanting to watch it to not being able to look away.

Why did I like it?
It's different. I've never seen a horror movie in which I'm torn as to who I should be cheering for. Although there is a definite "bad guy" or "monster" I almost see Mama as more of a "gray" character that's in between and compelling in her own way. Yes, she was a psycho in her past life, but she's also the one who saved the girls and took care of them for so long. She's reacting toward the family as any mother would when feeling threatened.

It's compelling. The relationship between the uncles girlfriend, Annabel, and the two nieces, Lilly and Victoria is very complex and feels real. I like that Annabel went into the situation not because she truly wanted to, but because it meant the everything to the love of her life. She gave up her band, her life...so that she could try to play house with these two wild children and in the end, she was more of a mother to them than she could ever have predicted. I was rooting for her the ENTIRE time.

The ending. It wasn't a bad ending, in fact it was just more surprising than anything. It wasn't how you'd think a horror story should typically end--either everyone lives happily ever after or everyone dies. It was satisfying because it seemed to have a little bit of both. While one girl decides she wants to be with her family, the other decides Mama is her true home and she and Mama parish in happy ignorance at the end.

What I didn't like.

To be honest, I'm not really sure what I didn't like about this movie, nothing comes to mind  other than it was just so different than any other horror movies I've seen, but in a good way. There were of course instances when I was screaming, "Turn around you idiot!" or something like that, but that's a good sign, right?

My recommendation. If you like compelling, different horror movies, you probably like this. If you're more of an Exorcist fan or like Paranormal Activity, probably no so much. If you enjoy Guillermo del Toro movies, this is probably one you'll want to see and if you like to be conflicted as to who you should be rooting for, again, this might be a movie for you. Personally, I LOVE Jessica Chastain and as always, she didn't disappoint!

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