MAMA Is A Wonderfull Horror Fairy-Tale

Posted: May 3, 2013 in Movies, Reviews
Tags: , , , , ,


Gore: Blood splatter goodBlood splatter badBlood splatter badBlood splatter badBlood splatter bad

Soul: soul goodsoul goodsoul goodsoul goodsoul bad

Cult Factor:   Time well spent!

Get it from from May 7th: Mama

I was certain I would enjoy this movie for two reasons, first Guillermo Del Toro was producing and second the short that convinced him to make the film also convinced me. Mama tells the story of two young sisters who get stranded in an abandoned cabin in the woods (which of course is haunted) and are raised by the ghost of a woman. When they are found and brought to their uncle the foster ghost is less than happy. The movie could be divided into three parts which unfortunately may alienate some viewers. I’ll explain why later. The first act shows the girls father taking them away, driving like a maniac in a frozen road and obviously crashing. He then promptly decides to kill the girls and commit suicide, but luckily Mama comes to the rescue and raises the girls. Five years pass and the girls are rescued, for act two, which prompts Mama to move to the girl’s uncle house and scare the living crap of everyone. Later on in act three we see a battle between Annabel (because Lucas is mostly useless) and Mama for the young girls custody. For those going in for a haunted house, jump scare fest, act two is the only one that caters to them, act one and three are more fairy tale than anything else. Sort of a mix between Jungle Book and Hansel and Gretel with a touch of custody battle and a sprinkle of horror. The movie is quite original in that way, taking what could be a run of the mill ghost movie and turning it into a heartfelt dark fairy tale about love, abandonment and motherhood.

This is why ghosts aren't allowed to adopt.

This is why ghosts aren’t allowed to adopt.

For me the only low point of the movie was the special effects of Mama. Especially towards the end of the movie when she gets more screen time. It feels too much like CGI and screams fake or unreal ruining the suspension of disbelief during a part where you need to be at your most receptive… I get that they wanted to go with a full CGI ghost because of the twisted visage but either the budget wasn’t big enough or the talent wasn’t there to pull of a Gollum and the movie suffers for it.   I think it would work better with composite effects. It’s not bad enough to ruin the movie but it does leave a sour taste right at the end in what would otherwise be a flawless movie (in my opinion of course).

Mama is indeed a good movie and will surely be one of the best in 2013, if you still haven’t seen it then you should.

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  1. bdh63 says:

    The picture looks like a cross between Golem, the frog prince and two fairy princesses dipped in tar. Yikes. I’m not big on horror, but maybe I’ll give it a try.

    • Hugo Silva says:

      Mama doesn’t really have gore, and no evil monsters, it’s just sudden scares, you know, things jumping out of a corner and stuff? In that sense it’s a movie that is well received by people who are not used to horror. If you do give it a try, come back and tell me what you think. And by the way, you may have seen it already but if not check out Pan’s Labyrinth from Guillermo del Toro it’s another good dark fairy tale but with less horror. Also, thanks for visiting!

      • bdh63 says:

        Love Pan’s Labyrinth, watched it a bunch of times! So suspenseful, ghoulish and with a great young, female character. Could stand to watch it again, now that I think about it… 🙂

  2. I liked this film, too! It had a good emotional story to it – I thought the ending was sad and that aspect made me not notice the CGI all that much. Great review.

  3. I loved this movie too, totally agree that the effects let it down, the perils of cgi :/

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