I have long grown tired of the co-signs in the entertainment business, especially in the film industry. More often than not, using the name of some one of higher significance will indeed get more of a buzz initially, but once fans realize in the first few minutes that who the promoters pitched as a “presenter” obviously did not have much of a hand in the creative process, in can turn ugly.
“Mama” was just that, rarely mentioned in promotions as an Andrés Muschietti directed and co-written film, the 2013 movie had the mastermind, Guillermo Del Toro’s name all over it, even to the extent of reminding the public of his masterpiece, “Pan’s Labyrinth.”
Nothing close to what Del Toro is capable of, “Mama” was a disaster. I was beyond disappointed. Looking forward to this film for six months, I tried to like it, but every time I gave it a chance, something was around the corner waiting to remind me of the uselessness of this film.
First of all, the film jumped way too quickly from when the children were forced to be alone in the woods, to automatically five years later. At least fifteen more minutes of what they did and went through would have made the movie a little more effective.
The second qualm I have with “Mama” is the convenience of everything being the right time, place and atmosphere for the “chilling horror experience.” For instance, Daniel Kash’s (Aliens, Lucky Number Slevin) character, Dr. Dreyfuss knew exactly what he was dealing with, he doesn’t have to wait for nightfall to see Mama so why in the hell did he wait until it got dark to go to the cabin?
Case in point number two, why was the map and photos of the children’s search, which was set up by their uncle Luke (Nikolaj Coster Waldau) right beside him after he woke up from his coma, so conveniently showing a photo of the bridge from his dream? Also, why would his fiance, Annabel (Jessica Chastain) be calling his cell phone when he was thought to be in the hospital? Finally, it was super convenient for her to just run into him on the road as she was on the way to the cabin or cliff.
Speaking of Jessica Chastain, I feel as if she did a terrible job acting this role, however I don’t feel as if it was completely her fault, the character seemed to be scripted as intolerable anyway. Along with that, I feel as if Mama was more convincing than the relationship between the couple, which quickly ended up shifting the focal point to only her when Luke slipped into a coma.
I could go on about these types of mishaps for much longer, but I will spare my readers the pain. Amidst the sloppiness of the film, “Mama” did have some extremely creepy and flat out chilling scenes, don’t get me wrong there, the first scene in the cabin after the five years had passed is something I won’t easily erase from my mind and scenes like that were sprinkled throughout the 100 minutes. It was everything in between those scenes that made this movie a flop to me.
I say don’t waste your time on this film if you are expecting Guillermo Del Toro quality film making. If you want to see some really cool scenes that will scare the hell out of you and make you jump while sending chills throughout your body, check it out, but don’t look forward to many staples holding this film together. It’s all over the place and it’s a damn shame, it could have been a great one.