MAMA Review

I have been patiently waiting to see “Mama” ever since I saw the trailer.  It totally didn’t disappoint.  This movie is the aftermath of a twisted Hansel and Gretel.  Twist – the witch is a pin headed, bitter mother who is a bit clingy; to say the least.  As I enter this adventure I can’t help, but wonder how it would compare it to my favorite horror flick of 2012, “Sinister.”  I wondered if it could compare at all.  I had high expectations, let me break down what was so awesome and creepy about this movie and what was kind of lame about it.

The pros, and there is are lot of them: As in his other movies, the director, Guillermo del Toro, definitely has a style and look to his character design. Although in this movie his style is a lot more subtle and pulled back, I like it just the same; if not more so. His depiction of the two girls who were stranded in the cabin for five years; looked really cool and super creepy.  They were crawling around like monkey wolves.  Visually, “Mama” was pretty stunning. Like, the trippy nightmare scenes that haunted the protagonists. But the best part of the movie is the moments of tension and terror. There were a lot of spooky scenes in this movie that had this veteran horror movie watcher, a 25 year old grown man, sweating in his seat!  There really was too many frightening moments to pick as a favorite – they just kept coming!  In fact, there wasn’t a slow period during this movie!

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Now for the cons, which keep in mind, are minor things – nothing to deter you from seeing the movie but, kept it from being perfect. The flow of the story was a bit choppy and clumsy.  Instead of each scene melting into one another the movie was more a series of scenes without subtle transitions between them. The acting was pretty good, especially the two young girls.  They were quite convincing.  The exception is the lead actress – she was freaking annoying!  I didn’t like her at all and found her character to be a jerk.  She came off like a teenager.  It was distracting – a lady that old has no reason to be acting like a teenager.  Perhaps the character was written that way.   However, I feel I should be able to relate to the main character of a movie instead of hoping that she would die!  Another problem was the dumbfounded expression on the monster’s face.  It was as if she was in a perpetual star of “duuhhh…”  That look took me right out of the movie. I think the director should tease me with the reveal of the monster’s face – you see her painfully confused face within the first 10 minutes of the movie.

Even though I was occasionally turned off, this was a really good movie.  I would totally pay my ticket price and leave happy.  Is it better than “Sinister”?  No. But, “Mama” was a creative, horrifying, and a departure from the series of ghost movies like Paranormal Activity one through a billion.  I rate this movie four out of five crossed eyed demon ghost Mamas.

I Grade Mama a B+

 Greg McCrary 1.18.13

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