Mama delivers the terror while building a exceptional story for a horror film. (by themoviejunkie91)
"MAMA", a film executively produced by Del Toro follows the story of two little girls that are found in the wilderness for five years. They are then adopted by their Uncle Luke Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau and his girlfriend Annabel Jessica Chastain and right off the bat, strange things start happening. While trapped in the woods, Victoria Megan Charpentier and Lily Isabelle Nelisse formed a guardian to protect and care for them, who they call Mama.This is an excellent movie. Be warned that it does remain dependant on jump scares to scare you, but they are what I like to call <more>
"true jump scares". Not a cat bursting out of a corner, or a shoe falling from the sky. "Mama" utilizes CGI by creating dark, disturbing images along with a tense orchestral sound track to scare your pants off. The acting was also superb, particularly Jessica Chastain and Megan Charpentier. Isabelle was solid also, but I had a feeling that before every take, she was told what to do, but Megan was old enough to understand the script and story. Something that really impressed me was how the story unfolded, and how beautifully the mother daughter relationship was portrayed. The cinematography was also one of the most beautiful jobs I've ever seen on a horror film. Camera work was steady and the dolly shots were smooth and suspenseful. Overall, Mama was a terrifying horror movie with a beautiful story and wonderful camera work. I hope this movie is recognized as a classic for years to come. This movie also proves that PG-13 horror movies can be scary after all. 9/10.
An Unforgettable Experience Brought By Muschietti, Del Toro and Chastain ! ! (by drakula2005)
First of all, my fellow moviegoers and horror-fans, i must begin by saying, that, even in a decade's time, i doubt that my instant love for this film would have changed in any way.Was it because of the wonderful work of the entire cast and crew on the film that struck me?Or even that rare feeling you get, when a film has been carefully nurtured with love and selflessness and raised up to be one of the best in the genre to come out for a good long while?Or is it the wonderful Jessica Chastain with a little mix of Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau's assuring performance as Lucas, and of course, <more>
Isabelle Nélisse's and Megan Charpentier haunting performances of Lilly and Victoria.And once we are rolling and underway, Muschietti and Del Toro never really let us go.Their ideas, their intelligence and vision, along with some brilliant acting, made this film a special cinematic experience.Suspense and horror wise the filmmakers have made a wise choice not to go with blood, gore and other clichés nowadays horrors are filled to the brim with.Another great choice is the masterful cast they have chosen-Chastain, Waldau the whole cast.And since i'm very fond of Chastain, i will get on the subject thoroughly in a moment.The film was shot in incredible style not revealing in the opening scenes and ,step by step, showing more and more, both story and emotional wise.Not only that, but with the titular character of Mama, we find more about her, we see more of her, and in the end, we experience what means being her, being all of them.This storytelling arc i found very suspenseful and the great character development in Annabel and Victoria, the bigger sister, lead up to the climax, which is very heavy on emotions, pain and a triumph of the director's extraordinary vision.Which, in my humble opinion, leads to the strongest quality, that this film has in it's possession:the cast!!Game of Thrones's Waldau does a really solid job portraying Lucas, the uncle, who never gave up on his nieces and kept searching, when nobody else did, he never let go.Isabelle Nélisse and Megan Charpentier are great playing the two wild, insecure, girls and manage to find the perfect line between this world and the civilization they are so reluctantly brought into by their uncle and his girlfriend.Although the word "girlfriend" is very misleading in this situation, it does no justice to the relationship between Chastain's Annabel and Waldau's Lucas at all.Throughout the whole movie we have seen real love and real human feeling, not just a bunch of teens sleeping together and fooling around which basically happens in every horror movie.But here, people are full-blooded, real, emotional, humane.So, they clearly love each other, after all Annabel stayed with him in order to help him raise his nieces, they moved in a new house together, she left her life of the tattooed, beer-drinking, guitar-playing, Rooney Mara-resembling woman, that was not yet ready to be a mother.At the end, Annabel has become so fond of the girls, that she takes the role of a real mother, caring, protecting and loving them, when Lucas in not around.She is risking her own life for them and is gifted with the love of the bigger sister, Victoria, in return, which ultimately proves to be at the center of the main conflict-the unconditional love of two mothers towards the two sisters, and the choice that they have to make.A real mother, or Mama-a hurt, but jealous ghost, with a history of her own, a mother, who is able to take a life in order to preserve it, a mother, who defended the two children for years in the wild, as if they were her own, but not a real, full-blooded mother at all...There is no right choice here, which means things are ultimately going to end bad in one way or another...So, for those who were able to bear with me for so long, i'm going to wrap it all in a nutshell:this film is an experience, that needs to be seen, an experience, resembling a beautiful, but also painful story with no winners and real, human emotions.It reminds me of Nicole Kidman's The Others in a way...And being introduced to Jessica Chastain's warm and full-blooded portrayal of an otherwise clichéd character, that she shows has been played the wrong way all those years, is the most important experience for me.She was brilliant, and as i have grown to love Chastain for her roles in the past two years, for her devotion and skillfulness, she is the best choice for this role.If horror movies had more overall quality and were higher-regarded as movies not only made for the purpose of cheap jumps, but for enjoying a piece of film making of real cinematic value, in a world where scripts are better, Jessica Chastain could even get nominated for an Oscar among other high-profile awards for her mesmerizing and beautiful, yet humane portrayal of a forced-by-the-circumstances mother, ready to do anything to protect the ones she loves.So, with the 1000-word limit upon me, for one of the best films in the genre for the last years and a wonderful film as a whole, this piece of devoted filmmaking and acting, will keep you mesmerized until the very end and you'll be discussing it even afterward.It definitely left an impression on me, and i can't wait to see the beautiful Chastain again, as soon as possible, as she has proved to be equally impressive and devoted in every genre she has worked in and every role she has taken.The one-two, that's shaping up at the U.S. box-office this weekend for her, proves she covers more cinematic ground than most, and that the future is bright in her presence!I wish her the Lead Actress Oscar this year, as she absolutely deserves it for her work on Zero Dark Thirty!My rate:a deserved 10/10 !!!
Mama is not someone I would want to raise my children... (by bobthedeathlord)
Mama is a horrible creature that was created from a person who wanted to raise a child in life, and that desire carried through to the afterlife as well. Throughout the movie, there are plenty jump out scares, but even more noticeable is the overall eeriness of the entire movie that will send chills down your spine even at the most unexpected moments.The entire plot leads to an unexpected climax well... it's not that unexpected if your a fan of Guillermo del Toro's movies... that will leave you feeling dread as you leave the theater. Also, the movie has some breathtaking visuals <more>
that are truly stunning to look at, though they are also horrific to look at as well. The storyline does have something that are uneven, such as questions that will go unanswered, but as Guillermo says: "The best type of horror is unknown!"This is a movie that will chill you to the bone, and leave you feeling sad, and somewhat confused, but it is one of the better horror movies of our age, and it deserves to get some recognition! I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves horror with a passion and wants to see a Guillermo del Toro-style horror movie that is almost a fantasy.
Whenever I see a movie that I get really excited about, I seek out reviews from professional critics and fellow fans. Often times they will point out things that I may not have noticed and it's exciting to feel connected to someone through art. When I find lots of negative reviews I begin to feel a sort of let down. I wonder if my opinion was "wrong", or why I'm the only one who liked it. Keep in mind; I'm an 18-year-old girl, so I have not yet grown out of such thoughts. I am also not an authority on film. Everything I know, I learnt from reading Roger Ebert and <more>
watching lots and lots of movies. However, this movie really stuck with me. I saw it 2 days ago and I still can't stop thinking about it. I decided to take a page out of Ebert's book and explain why I loved it instead of just saying "it's awesome" . Here's why: 1. The Children: I'm a sucker for kids in movies, especially when they actually get to act like kids. The 1-year-old Lily and 3-year-old Victoria are so beautiful that they tug at your heartstrings without even trying. They were well cast. 6-year old Lily and 8-year-old Victoria were truly phenomenal little actresses. Megan Charpentier already a seasoned veteran with previous credits including Jennifer's Body, Red Riding Hood, and Resident Evil: Retribution handles this heavy subject matter with maturity and poise. She manages to balance innocence with experience. She has been traumatized by her past, maybe her heart is a little harder than the average 8-year-old if it wasn't, she wouldn't have survived all that time , but we still get glimpses of the little girl who just wants a mommy. Isabelle Nélisse is in my opinion genius as little Lily. I think CGI must have been used to make her movements appear more animalistic, but a child of her age maintaining such seriousness is riveting to watch. When she plays with her toys, it's like watching an actual feral child in a documentary I repeat, it is LIKE watching a feral child, not IDENTICAL to .2. The "Parents": Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau as the uncle and uncle's girlfriend of the little girls are very well cast. I was a bit sceptical of Jessica Chastain's "rocker chick" look, but she brings such life and courage to her character that you actually see her as a bass player, instead of a classically beautiful Hollywood star trying to look like a bass player. I had never heard of Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau before this film. I love how much he loves the girls. His caring for them is so sincere and honest. You truly believe that he is the kind of guy who would spend 5 years and money he doesn't have on the hope that his nieces might still be alive. He is a loving father figure who doesn't get as much time with the girls as her should in my humble opinion .3. Mama: The demon/spirit/ghost/entity/whatchamacallit of Mama was created using CGI and a very tall, thin actor. Many audience members laughed when Mama first came in to full view. I agree that she looked a little funny. Her hair was really weird and anti-gravity like Mama in the short film and her face was oddly asymmetrical. However, I think that she was perfect. Just the right amount of creepy and sad. This is one of the only horror movies in existence that causes the audience to feel real sympathy for the evil villain.4. The Director: I admire Andrés Muschietti for taking so many risks. It is rare to find a filmmaker today who will go against what the audience may want. He didn't use any fake scares; the situation was scary enough on its own. There are brilliant moments of natural humour that were so refreshing. He did not mock his characters or the situation, but he found the string of comedy that was there already and used it to his advantage. How many times have you been having a miserable day, and then just stopped and started laughing about how everything went wrong? That is the humour of Mama.5. The Story: Part of the reason that I love horror movies is that they aren't bound by the usual visionary constraints of, say, Italian neo-realism films. Tragic stories are exciting and implausible all at the same time. I think that this was a very original take on a story of mother-daughter bonding. Of course there's no such thing as a "completely original story", but there is such thing as a completely original vision. The story affected me very deeply. I'm still trying to come to terms with how it ended.6. Using Clichés Effectively: There are a lot of clichés involved in making a horror film. There are only so many ways to introduce the plot line of a supernatural being. This genre requires stock characters, and they do their jobs well. They use some of my favourite scare tactics using a camera as a light source, unexpected appearances by the entity, etc... . Those particular clichés are necessary. Would you really want to see a Jim Carrey comedy where he uses dry humour and no body language? Or a Baz Luhrman film with dull colours and understated characters? Clichés are not always a bad thing.This is why I loved this film. Agree or disagree, but you can't say I didn't think it through.Take care, -Hannah
A Fantastic Film Experience (by sbentz-593-529891)
I went into this film with high expectations. I am a horror movie junkie, despite their general lack of critical acclaim. They should be entertaining, even if they don't give you nightmares. After first viewing the trailer over the summer rolling in for The Possession , I eagerly anticipated the January release. Seeing that Guillermo del Toro's name was attached to the project made me even more giddy. I saw it opening night.I was not disappointed. Not in the slightest. In fact, I was happier with the movie than I intended to be. Believe me, that's saying something.Not one scared <more>
by stories themselves, but solely by moments that utilize the element of surprise, I have never jumped out of my skin more times during a single film than I did for "Mama." That pretty much makes it the scariest movie that I have ever seen. However, seeing as different things scare different people, that is most likely not the same for everyone. If you aren't a jumper, don't worry, it's still very much worth it.The story is not your typical ghost story. It has a terrific exposition to settle you into the film's focus. The situation is solitary enough that you won't yourself experience it, but isn't so far-fetched that it's unbelievable. The characters are both likable and flawed, which gives them dimension and makes them more interesting. And the girls are adorable, but not so cute that it detracts from the terror. As you can see, the film is very much balanced. A good film needs that balance.As far as scares go, some are quite subtle. A few you don't particularly realize are happening until something changes, and you're caught off-guard. Seeing that the premise is supernatural, the idea of an elusive antagonist is key. You can't see too much of what you're supposed to be afraid of, and for the majority of the movie, you don't. The cloud of mystery surrounding Mama herself is hauntingly beautiful, and will both demonize and delight you. By the time you finish it, you will most likely feel both happy and sad, and will not know where your emotions should be.I highly recommend "Mama" to anyone, because it is not your stereotypical horror movie. Its distinct lack of gore, and high level of well-crafted story, makes for an exciting experience for both horror lovers, and those who don't necessarily appreciate the genre. If you get the chance to watch it, take it immediately. If you aren't given the chance to watch it, make the chance yourself.
Just missed by an inch of an fraction to become a classic.loved it (by joy-jsmith)
I am a big fan of horror but recently i cant remember a movie which i enjoyed to my heart but then i saw MAMA and it was like a fresh air which u asked from a long long time. What makes MAMA special and different is it's Story and Acting.Not many horror movies has it now a days but MAMA has it all..a beautiful and emotional film with great horror elements to back it.The performance from Jessica Chastain is mind blowing.when the movie starts I didn't seem to connect with her character but as soon as the movie progressed she just blown my mind with her screen presence and screen fit <more>
performance.few places r just brilliant like the one where she finds lily outside of the house and she brings her in but Lily tries to escape but the she holds he tight and make her feel that she loves her from within and Lily starts looking at her with innocence and Jessica hold her hands blow air on them and ask Lily that "dose she liked it"..it moved me and i was just speechless watching it.Just little more detailing would have turned it into a classic for life.but never then less its one of the finest horror film I watched in decades.Highly recommended.Loved it!
The title may be tacky, but this Canadian-Spanish co-production, with Guillermo del Toro lending his name as producer, is one of the better horror films to have come out from the West in recent years, despite being filled with the usual clichés, actually contain a proper story, and delivered really well in terms of chills, thrills and everything that's necessary to creep you out and make you jump at your seat. Co-written and directed by Andres Muschietti, Mama shows how it boils down to story, building upon his short film of the same name some 5 years ago, and a solid cast to gloss over <more>
the expected bag of tricks.Many of the clichés were put to good effect, which in some ways you'd come to expect certain things to happen in a certain way, and they did. While it may be blunted in terms of anticipation and build up, it didn't shy away from delivering that sucker punch when required, and kept good work in framing and editing for maximum impact when the moment called for the unabashed dip into tried and tested elements. One thing you'll note is how assured Muschietti's direction is, as if doing it all for the very first time, with the aim of wanting to stir up its scares really well. Liberal use of CG also helped, but never done in slip-shoddy fashion, which added a layer of positive production values to the film.I mean, there's creepy children, a ghoul that gate-crashes a reunion of sorts, and the usual spooky house no thanks to noises during strange timings, and the rote blinking of lights. All ingredients that you've seen utilized to the death in various horror film productions, but coming together really well in Mama, playing to the strengths of these elements while fiercely ignoring the negativity associated with lazier filmmakers who just slap these elements together, expecting them to work. It's not a special effects extravaganza when it's not required, and Mama showed just how its story and characters were allowed to lead, rather than to have strangely illogical moments, even for a horror film, fall coincidentally into place.Jessica Chastain may be the latest IT girl in Hollywood, and it's encouraging to note she's really going all out to take on various roles in different genres, despite her more recent art house leanings of late. Here, she's the quintessential scream queen, albeit only just, given her role of Annabel being a rock star wannabe, sporting almost full body tattoos that betray a rather soft demeanour, when her maternal instincts get called upon to look after the nieces of her boyfriend Lucas Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau . They were found after having disappeared for five years, which the opening sequence and credits would have pointed to an unnatural upbringing under the hands of the titular Mama ghoul. Battling for custody, it is with reluctance that the couple take the children under their wing, probably because Annabel knows she'll eventually be dumped with the kids, which did happen.And the entire middle act is when the fun begins, for fans of horror films forking out good money to be entertained with the roller coaster ride of scares. Muschietti and his story collaborators Neil Cross and Barbara Muschietti managed to keep an entire back story up their sleeves, to reveal them in teasing fashion, which worked to keep you engaged throughout. And credit must go to Muschietti and his DP Antonio Riestra for having framed the initial introduction to the ghoulish elements that went for maximum WTF surprises, especially with sleight of hand techniques that didn't jar the narrative, nor relied on the necessity of a jump cut edit to hammer home its creepier moments. It grows, slowly, and that's one master stroke Mama had that worked wonders.This is the second film in a row that had its child actors provide top notch performances. Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nelisse play sisters, who with the aid of CG move around complete with unnatural mannerisms, having it in term to creep you out, before having to develop their characters into emotional cores that added a lot more depth to this film as it steamrolls its way to the finale. Andres Muschietti is the name to watch now for taking something that's expected to be cliché in a horror film, but fulfilled more than you'd bargain for. A definite recommend!
I really liked this movie and the concept for it was original. I think this film makes the viewer think about what the characteristics are of being a mother. What sort of instincts we as woman can display and what kind of connections can be made with a child, even if you're a terrifying ghost.Del Toro will always put his name on a good thriller surrounding small children. This movie had all the thrills of a scary movie and the elements fright used in the film had everyone in my theater on the edge of the seat. The movie waist no time getting into the meat of the story.There are flaws in <more>
the film and it does have to do with plot holes. The director could have worked these holes out with other writers......like Del Toro perhaps. The back story had the hugest gap of all.Regardless, it was better than 'Don't be Afraid of the Dark', and I will be seeing this film again.
Horror has been one of the least appreciated film genres nowadays for relying nothing more than the excessive amount of violence and repetitive jump scares, plodding the storytelling by its completely lifeless characters who are ready to get killed. Mama is something else however it still has those horror movie clichés, like those easy loud jump scares and some ghostly pathos, but there is a fascinating concept behind the scares that leaves the audience a beautiful story than just a cheap horror shock. It also has a set of strong performances and solid production. It could have been much <more>
genuine in being scary than simply loud but Mama is still one of the great horror films we got in a while.Unlike most modern horror films, this movie's ambition is to tell a compelling story. Obviously there is a hidden emotion beneath the concept, but before we get to that, it explores around the characters and the gloomy atmosphere. Rather than throwing a horrific death scene to show fear, it scatters some symbolic objects that indicate the presence of the titular monster. It's a fascinating trick of manifesting its mysteries and fear. What defy the odds of the genre are the characters. They are not only ought to get scared. This is a rare set of modern horror characters that possesses a genuine soul. The performances handle them terrifically. There is a lot of remarkable performance to talk about but anyway. It's not only about the scares. It finely balances the drama to the darkness of the story. Personally, it's kind of more interesting when it simply tells the story of the two kids and the Mama ghost even though it features a horror cliché of ghosts telling their past to the central character. In the end, we'll realize the film actually offers more to the picture.The only largest misstep they had is the excessive amount of loud jump scares. Though, they can be effective at some point. They still used some other ways of scaring the audience, like mimicking the clever horror trick of "The Orphanage" and letting the character be alone exploring the creepiness going on. It could have lingered on those parts to feel the danger of the characters, but instead they immediately send off a loud jump scare because it works to everyone. The film uses some CGI which made the monsters look a bit awkward but they are decent enough. Everything looks great in general. The cinematography and the production are a total pay off. It's just beautiful to look at.Mama turns out to be pretty good. At glance, it doesn't look like the kind of horror film we usually thought about but furthermore we get to realize it is beyond than we should expect. The clichés still exists but they are used in a better way. Putting aside those cheap scares, it's a refreshing story that is indeed worth telling. It's still far from classic but it is also far from generic and annoying like most horror films we get these days. The performances and the filmmaking give more to the experience. Mama is the kind of horror film that abandons the gruesome acts and rather shows its dark aspects in a quite endearing way.