With so many haunting and exorcism movies coming out this year, Mama had a tough competition but still managed to come on top. Reminiscent of those old school horror movies, with an almost eighties vibe but visually updated to this decade, it’s a must-see. Cinematography is beautiful and dreamy, similar to the movie Silent Hill  with that special brand of eerie atmosphere. Based on a short movie of the same name and of the same director, Andy Muschietti, it’s a breath of fresh air in the horror genre. This talented Argentinian director went on to work on the reboot of the IT franchise, with great success, I might add.
A true horror experience was the thought that passed through my mind as I saw the name Guillermo del Toro… When we look past all the visuals and things that are intentionally built into the story, we see a formulaic horror movie with the usual elements: two small, preferably creepy children: check, spooky-ass old house: check and finally an unknown entity lurking in the dark:… Mama, however, opts for the atmosphere and genuine dread instead of using cheap scares. When you combine this with all the rest of the elements, you got yourself a pretty solid horror movie.
Jeffrey’s not having a good day after his brokerage firm took heavy losses in the financial meltdown, Jeffrey has one of his own, killing two people in the office, his wife and kidnapping their two very young daughters. Totally lost and suicidal he drives the three of them aimlessly until they have an accident leaving them in the snowy forest. Soon they find an abandoned cabin (gee what a surprise) where Jeffrey decides to take his own life, as well as his daughters. But somehow that doesn’t happen… A couple of years later, a crew looking to find out what happened to three of them, find the abandoned cabin with two small, feral children. Jeffrey’s brother Lucas, who’s behind these search efforts volunteers to help take care of the girls. He doesn’t know that someone is already taking care of them.
Starring incredibly charismatic Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of his Game of Thrones fame and Jessica Chastain of her, well, every movie she’s been in fame, the acting was top notch. Even the two little girls were great, especially in the final third of the movie. Plus you have the opportunity to see Jessica as a punk-rock musician with tats all over her left arm.
Although Mama is a horror movie, a great horror movie, to be honest, it also deals with some issues that you would find in some drama movies. The relationship between a parent and a child, as well as the relationship between siblings, gives more depth to the story, not to mention the Mama-Children thing.
Another one of the things that Mama offers is the sound of sheer terror, not so often used in today’s horror movies, because, for fuck’s sake, we don’t wanna frighten the viewers too much… Those shrieks and screams sound so devastating that the hairs on the back of your head will stand up like they are coming straight from hell. And those dark, pulsating, infected wounds that appear around the house… Just watch the movie…
Director: Andrés Muschietti
Writer: Andrés Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nélisse, Daniel Kash, Jane Moffat
Fun Facts: Mama’s appearance was inspired by a painting by Amedeo Modigliani, owned by Andy Muschietti.