Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mama I'm coming home.

MAMA (2013)

Hello again movie fans.  Ken B. back again to talk about a movie I've seen but just haven't gotten to talk about until now.  Even though I'm a little late to the dance, I still want to talk about Mama.  Especially since there is such a mixed bag of good and bad opinions.  So put in your reading eyes, here we go again.

Mama begins with the "heartwarming" tale of a man named Jeffrey who decides one day to kill his business associates as well as his wife, then abducts his two daughters for a nice drive and then end the day with a murder/suicide.  All was going according to plan until Jeffrey goes over an embankment thanks to an icy road.  After finding an abandoned house in the nearby woods, he finally decides to take the opportunity to finish his day as planned, until he is grabbed from behind by a dark figure (seen though the eyes of the elder daughter, who wasn't wearing her glasses, so all we see is a dull image of Mama) and killed.

Jeffrey and his two girls are missing for five years, and a search for them has been going underway since, funded by Jeffrey's brother Lucas.  And wouldn't you know it, the very day he runs out of money to continue his search, his two nieces are finally found and returned.  After five years, they are found dirty, and acting savagely (with some very off-putting crab-like scuttling around).  So they are at first kept under psychiatric observation.  Eventually though, Lucas (along with his girlfriend Annabel) manages to get one of the girls to take to him again, allowing him to take custody of them and work to get them back to their old selves.  Unbeknownst to Lucas, Mama hasn't left their side since they were found and brought back.  Mama is very jealous, and only wants the girls to pay attention to her.  So naturally, problems arise, and people start getting hurt.  People like Lucas, who becomes hospitalized fairly early on, leaving Annabel to watch the girls by herself.

An example of the camera work used during the movie.

Now I don't exactly know how many people didn't like this movie, but it doesn't matter.  I'm gonna go against the grain on this one and say I like Mama.  Is it perfect?  No, but how many flicks are these days?  The acting wasn't too stellar, but it was passable overall.  The camerawork was better than some recent flicks I've seen lately.  For example, there was a nice wide shot at one point that included the upstairs hallway on the left, and the girls bedroom on the right.  And it stayed there for about a minute showing Annabel walking up and down the hallway while one of the girls was playing with someone further in the room where you can't see.  It seems at first the the girl may be playing with her sister, until you see the other sister appear in the hallway.  It's nice touches with the camera that are getting rarer these days.

And Mama herself?  At first, I wasn't sure how to feel about her appearance.  But as the movie went, I found myself enjoying her more.  Here and there, she lets out this inhuman moaning/wailing that unexpectedly creeped me out.  As well, she has this very odd way she moves around which is explained later in the movie.  Basically, it's not by choice, and it also has an air of creepiness about it.

Honestly, there's not a whole lot else to say.  The story is very straightforward, and learning Mama's origins may well make you feel differently about her near the end. While this is not the best movie that Del Toro has his name attached to, I still enjoyed it and recommend it.  For those of you who watched it and didn't like it, maybe I could convince you to watch it again sometime down the road and give it another chance. 

Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Horror rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

-Ken B. checking his closets for crazy ghost moms

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