Mama gives "possessed by an evil spirit" a whole new level of disturbing meaning, as this bereft spirit saves the lives of two tiny potential murder victims. She adopts and nurtures them, but takes the mothering instinct to lethal levels, as her psychopathic jealous streak kicks in. She's possessive of their affections to a scary degree. Check out the latest offering by Pan's Labrynth Guillermo del Torro as Executive Producer.
Despite the PG13 rating, my kids are years away from being ready for this type of tale. However, every kid is different, and some tweens and teens will no doubt dig it. There are plenty of startle scares by the lethal creep in the closet or lurking under the bed. But there are deeper, psychological layers to this disturbing drama as well.
We dug the surrogate parents, punk rock girl, Annabel (Jessica Chastain) and cool, artist uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). If anyone could provide a creative, understanding home for the two feral, traumatized tots, these two would be my first choice, far and above the straight laced, meddling aunt. The kids were a joy to watch and the way they moved was indelibly creepy. One of the scariest things in Mama, however, was the betrayal by the psychologist, who should have had their safety and security as a priority. He selfishly put his own research above all, and recklessly endangered those he was supposed to be helping heal.
There was also a fascinating thread with little girl, Victoria's glasses, and her ability to see. They broke in the initial car accident, before their abandonment, so she spent 5 years in the woods, nearly blind. After her rescue and new life begins with a new pair of glasses, she still removes them to see the unseen, and Mama destroys the glasses she goes on a final murderous rage. We're also intrigued with the black moths, that disturbingly emerged from her corpse and follow her spirit form everywhere, and we're super creeped out that little Lilly EATS them.
directed by Andres Muschietti
starring Jessica Chastain
produced by J. Miles Dale and Barbara Muschietti
with Guillermo del Toro as executive producerGuillermo del Toro presents Mama, a supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their mother was murdered. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night. The day their father killed their mother, sisters Victoria and Lilly vanished near their suburban neighborhood. For five long years, their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), have been madly searching for them. But when, incredibly, the kids are found alive in a decrepit cabin, the couple wonders if the girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home. (c)Universal
Early reviews for Mama are mixed at best, with some critics raving about it and others slamming the lack of cohesive plot, the contrived ending and lack of truly hard core scary scenes. We liked it, above and beyond buckets of gratuitous blood and stupid teen slasher flicks, and enjoyed the cinematography, creepy locations, and layered plot. Mama is certainly worth a look...just don't look in the closet.