Saturday, January 19, 2013

Don't Watch This Movie: Mama

Unfortunately this movie feels just as long.
I don't want to spoil this movie for you. Seriously, that's not the point of my reviews, or this blog. But I want to save you from yourself. I know you want to go see this film, and I know you think it will be good. Trust me, it won't be. It will be, perhaps, good enough, but it doesn't even contain the level of kick- ass spectacle that Gangster Squad that at least allowed me to recommend that movie as a rental. No, all Mama has is a ton of cliches, a stupid story and an ending so bad you'll go home and think a porn film does a better job of telling a tale.
Speaking of, this girl is hot.
There's no good music in this movie, but it's a horror film so, guess that's okay. The special effects are terrible. The movie monster looks bad, just bad, and not even in an acceptable way. Some of the cinematography, on the other hand, is gorgeous. Some of the locales are of vast forests and mountains that you might find in The Hobbit. Unfortunately, there's no comparatively good story going on. But hey! It's a horror film, right? You're in it for the scares. So how are those?
Actually, not bad.
When it comes to scares, there's three ways to go about it. One, lots of murder and gore, which I've never found scary as much as grotesque. Two, snap scares, done with sudden camera cuts, quickly moving monsters. You know, the stuff that happens so fast you can't help but jump out of your seat. Three, a director can set a creepy mood that sort of just saturates the audience and lets fear slowly sink in. Mama aims for the second and third sort of scares, and does so fairly successfully, at lest for a while.
Not even joking, this was everyone in the audience, several times.
The jump scares are always pretty good. The director makes good use of suddenly launching monsters at you, of having the girls appear from nowhere, the camera catching sudden glimpses of dark shadows. Especially in the closing thirty minutes, the entire audience was mumbling. One couple next to me were hugging each other so tightly I wasn't sure if it was the man or woman that was scared. The problem, though, is that the movie is terrible.
Creepy children are no longer scary.
The cliches are everywhere, and that's not an exaggeration. A lonely cabin in the woods? Check. Creepy children? Check. Nursery rhymes to invoke fear? Check. Drawings to communicate how disturbed they are? Check. Vengeful ghost that needs justice to end its vengeance? Check. A freaking psychologist analyzing the situation to find a rational explanation? Okay Halloween, we got you.
Don't worry kids, we're all scared of the cliches.
The story is bad, so bad that it ruins the context of the scares. At the same time I kept getting freaked out I also kept anticipating what was going to happen next, because the film is so by-the-numbers. Some things don't even make sense. For instance, the ghost is from the 1800s, but for some reason she lives in a cabin decorated with furniture fro the 1970s. Whyyyy,  it makes no sense! There's almost no point to that detail, it's just thrown in, and the name of the person who lived there, that the movie actually lingers on, never comes into play. It's like a small detail you'd expect to come into play later except the director forgot that he set up the story to include that detail.
Yes, the story is this painful
Don't watch this movie. It's got scares, but the price it requires in order for you to get to them is high. It's tedium, and boredom. That's a cost of admission that's much more expensive than the dollars you'll spend at the concession stand.
Hide us from the boredom.
Rating: Don't Watch This Movie!


  1. aw dammnit i wish i saw this review before i went to watch it.
    Waste of money really
    it was all scary at the beginning but once i saw mama's face i laughed my ass off.
    There was so much unanswered questions, like what the hell was happening in the beginning with the father, he wanted to kill himself then he wanted to kill his daughter, wtf happened to their real mother?
    And wtf happened to the professor , is that all?
    And Not going to spoil , but the ending was meant to be sad, but the director didnt do crap about making it sad. I really didnt care.
    Waste of time and money. haiis.

    1. This sounds like a great reason to keep coming back for movie reviews as well as sharing them with others ;D

      Self promotion aside, yeah, absolutely nothing in this movie makes sense. By the end you just don't give a damn, and you're just looking for resolution that never comes.