So I know I said that I would be doing more classics. And I will. But I wanted to watch a modern movie last night that I had not yet seen. And based on word-of-mouth, I heard that it was actually pretty good, so I decided to see for myself. Plus it was produced by Guillermo del Toro so obviously if he had some faith in it, it’s worth looking into for me.
Mama is a movie that I did not see when it first came out, and I kind of wanted to, but I also heard it wasn’t great (from critics). Then some people told me it actually wasn’t bad. So I watched and it was pretty good. I liked it.
It’s about a guy who kills his wife, kidnaps his daughters, and crashes the car into the woods. So he goes into this abandoned shack and his daughters are there and this creepy ghost lady kills him and basically raises his daughters. So they find the girls years later as feral kids and their uncle took the girls in and attempted to raise them. But the ghost followed them.
So it was a cool movie. The ghost was great-looking, and for some of the shots the ghost was practical, which was really cool. Although I read that the ghost was originally going to be 100% practical, which would have been way cool. Still cool though.
The two girls were talented. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was great as both brothers, but Jessica Chastain was excellent. Although she was a little ridiculous in the beginning of the movie. The rock band she was in was just really annoying. The whole “Oh I’m so cool and moody and tough look at all the black I’m wearing and my TATS,” didn’t really work for Jessica Chastain (or anyone else in the band who spoke). It was not great. Very annoying. But that’s my only complaint about her performance because from then on she was, as usual, very good in the movie.
The movie had some spooks. Some good spooks and some spooks that didn’t quite land. All-in-all it was spooky enough, well-acted, interesting plot, but I really liked the 2 or 3 dreams sequences in the movie. They were really cool. One was a flashback POV from the woman who became the evil ghost and who she was before to make her this vengeful spirit. It was done really well. There’s another short dream sequence from NCW’s character where he sees the ghost of his brother and it’s creepy.
I think the best thing about this movie was Javier Botet’s portrayal of Mama, the ghost, when she was practical. He’s very talented. He played the monster in the end of the first [REC] movie. He’s a tall, thin contortionist who is so good at these characters. So that was the best part.
Overall, it was pretty good. I liked it. A lot of people refer to it as “Guillermo del Toro’s Mama,” but that’s not entirely accurate. He had some creative input and he produced, but other than that, it was directed by Andres Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti, and Neil Cross. I wouldn’t go so far as to refer to it as a “Guillermo del Toro movie.” It’s just a pet peeve when producers get more credit than the director and writer(s). Nothing against del Toro. He is amazing.
So, Mama was pretty good. Above average for a mainstream horror movie these days. I recommend it.