Mama (2013) - Andres Muschietti
The day after their mother's death, presumably by the hands of their father, two young girls disappear in the woods without a trace. When they are discovered, five years later, they lack the very basic social skills necessary to live a normal life. Their uncle is determined to help them, and together with his girlfriend, they assume custody of the two young girls. As the couple welcomes the young girls into their home, they begin to experience strange things, making them question if the two girls aren't the only guests they've invited into their house. Andres Muschietti's Mama is a bland ghost story that attempts desperately to disguise itself as something far more interesting and unique. Mama starts off strong, with some rather evocative visuals that certainly establish a nice atmospheric tone but besides the unique back story, the film really fails to sustain this somewhat promising opening act. I've never been a big fan of CGI monsters and the film shows off this creature rather early and often in the film. The creature looks silly to me and while I wouldn't say the special effects are bad, they certainly aren't good, with quite a few instances where I was taken completely out of the film because of them. I found the whole film to be pretty predictable outside of a somewhat surprising twist at the ending that failed to have much of an emotional impact. Much of the film lacks any real organic scares, with orchestrated music at every turn telling the viewer when they are supposed to be scared. Oh, and maybe I am just being overly critical but Jessica Chastain's emo character was pretty damn silly and an unnecessary character angle, though she did a fine job in the acting department. Mama is a film that for the most part failed to live up to its interesting premise, being another generic ghost story.
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