Viewed – 25 August 2013 Blu-ray
I always have an air of caution when I see a famous director’s name above a movie title saying ‘presents’ it normally means he has had nothing to do with the actual making but has lent his name to it to aid it’s promotion. It’s an old Hollywood ploy and usually means the movie in question will fail to live up to said director’s reputation. Thankfully to some extent that isn’t entirely the case here with Guillermo Del Toro offering himself up to promote this creepy horror that in my opinion works with or without his help.
A troubled man murders his wife then kidnaps his two young daughters, soon finding himself lost in a woodland until he stumbles upon a cabin. Five years later, the man has vanished and his brother tracks down the two girls who have seemingly fended for themselves in the cabin and woods ever since – or have they? This is an interesting set up, imaginatively filmed and with a very unsettling atmosphere. The story is intriguing but gets a little obvious about half way in, and once the frights and horror kick in, it’s pretty much a CGI-fest, and not particularly convincing CGI. Thankfully performances are decent, especially from a goth Jessica Chastaine (Zero Dark Thirty) and the two young actresses playing the troubled girls are also good. The scares are fairly well implemented and the feral actions of the girls are freaky and disturbing – even if that aspect is only briefly explored.
For a night in with a scary movie, this works for the most part – the plot lacks a bit of exposition as I wanted to know more about the father and the troubled spirit, but was left clueless. Also it didn’t really go for the jugular and was fairly tame overall. Entertaining, but not one I’d rush to see again.
Verdict: 3 /5
- Mama 2013 (theballardreview.com)
- ‘Mama’ reviewed!! Scary, or horrific in another way..? (mattlang77.wordpress.com)
- Top 15 movies not out on Blu-ray (reviews.cnet.com)