A mother’s love is forever.
Directed by Andrés Muschietti
Reviewed by Deep Red
Stars Jessica Chastain as Annabel, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Lucas/Jeffrey, Megan Charpentier as Victoria, Isabelle Nélisse as Lilly, Daniel Kash as Dr. Gerald Dreyfuss, Javier Botet as Mama, Jane Moffat as Jean Podolski/Mama (voice), Morgan McGarry as Young Victoria, Maya Dawe and Sierra Dawe as Young Lilly, Hannah Cheesman as Edith Brennan, Laura Guiteras and Melina Matthews as Mama (voice) and Elva Mai Hoover as Dr. Dreyfuss’ Secretary. Also stars David Fox as Burnsie and Dominic Cuzzocrea as Ron.
This Canadian/Spanish film is based on the Argentine short film Mamá (2008), also directed by Andrés Muschietti.
Following a stock market collapse a man, Jeffrey, shoots two of his business partners and his estranged wife. He then takes his two small children, Victoria and Lilly, in the car, crashes, then makes his way with the children to a cabin in the woods. He’s about to shoot the eldest, Victoria, when he is attacked and killed, leaving the two children alone in the cabin with his attacker.
Five years later, the two girls are found, they have turned feral. Jeffrey’s twin Lucas and his girlfriend Annabel want custody of the girls and are granted it on condition they move into a house provided for them. When Lucas is attacked in the house, ending up in a coma, Annabel is left alone with the girls. Annabel thinks someone is visiting the girls.
I’ve seen Mama a couple of times now and it’s a very good film. I enjoyed it more the second time I watched it, mainly because I was expecting something different to what it actually is the first time I watched it, I’m not really sure what, I think the amount of CGI took me by surprise. It’s a pretty creepy film really and I’ve got to say that the story is definitely original. The special effects, and we’re talking quite a lot of CGI, are very well done but any CGI, you know, it can look a little fake, at times, even at its best. That aside, the film has a decent plot, acting, cinematography, everything going for it really.
It’s definitely a grower because it’s a quality film through and through. The sound effects are eerie and it does have tension although I didn’t jump really which maybe some people did. It takes quite a lot to make me jump these days. Again that CGI problem kept coming up, the conclusion was a particular problem for me. I think what it is is if there’s CGI in a film like, oh let me think, Riddick (2013), well, I’m OK with that, but in a horror film that’s meant to scare you, the people doing the special effects have to be a bit more careful because unless we’re totally convinced of what’s happening on-screen, the scare isn’t going to happen, we can still admire the effects but the scare is lost. I think that’s Mama‘s main problem, it’s a cool film but seems to slip in and out of being a horror film at the crucial moments and becomes a special effects film more in tune with fantasy or science fiction perhaps.
Anyway, I do recommend it. A very enjoyable film and I picked it up for £5 which is a really nice price.