Movie Details
Mama

Mama

Guillermo del Toro presents "Mama", a supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their mother was murdered. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night. The day their father killed their mother, sisters Victoria and Lily vanished near their suburban neighbourhood. For five long years, their Uncle Lucas and his girlfriend, Annabel, have been madly searching for them. But when, incredibly, the kids are found alive in a decrepit cabin, the couple wonders if the girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home. As Annabel tries to introduce the children to a normal life, she grows convinced of an evil presence in their house. How did the broken girls survive those years all by themselves? The new mother is about to find that the whispers she hears at bedtime are coming from the lips of a deadly presence.

Language: English
Subtitle: Malay / Chinese
Classification: 18
General Release Date: 17 Jan 2013
Genre: Horror
Running Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
Distributor: UNITED INTERNATIONAL PICTURES
Cast: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jessica Chastain, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nélisse
Director: Andres Muschietti
Format: 35MM, 2D



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Review
Writer: Siti Munawirah Mustaffa

Writer Ratings:
Overall: 2.5 Out of 5
Cast: 3.0 Out of 5
Plot: 2.5 Out of 5
Effects: 2.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.0 Out of 5

Watch this if you liked: “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Sinister”

It's hard not to be creeped out when you combine little children with the supernatural in one story. Such is the case with "Mama", originally a short film of the same name directed by Andres Muschietti, and a tale that explores the strong mother-child connection in an eerie manner.

Five years following the death of their missing father, Jeffrey (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and Lilly (Isabelle Nelisse) are found in an abandoned cabin. Concerned with their animal-like behaviour, the authorities then decide to place them in a welfare clinic under the care of Dr. Gerald Dreyfuss (Daniel Kash), who later supports the custody claim of Jeffrey's brother, Lucas (Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), on the count that the four of them live in a house sponsored by his clinic for case studies. The living condition is not without strange events that occur, eventually leading those in close contacts with the children to 'Mama'; a mysterious character who is more than just Victoria and Lilly's imaginary friend.

If you're already more than familiar with the horror genre, then you'll find the effects in "Mama" as nothing extraordinary. Truly, there is nothing striking in this film apart from Jessica Chastain's solid performance as punk rock chick Annabel, who, ecstatic about not being pregnant at the beginning of the film, eventually transforms into a loving foster mother of two girls after thrown into unexpected circumstances.

What the reviewer admires about this film is the strong bond that slowly develops between Annabel and the children as they slowly become less hostile towards her; thus showing the many different types of characteristics that the "Zero Dark Thirty" star is able to portray. The downside, however, lies in the poor film effects that makes 'Mama' look not much different from any of Tim Burton's caricatures. Quite a disappointment, the reviewer must say, as "Pan's Labyrinth" director, Guillermo del Toro was involved in the production team.

While intense at the middle chapter, the story begins to make less sense towards the end. No magical effects from the showering of butterflies would be able to save the already shaky plot, either. With a conclusion that leaves your eyes rolling, let's just hope there won't be any sequel and more of Chastain on screen instead.

Cinema Online, 23 January 2013
   

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