Tuesday, May 7 2013, 07:02 PM MDT
Blu-ray Review: Mama
Street Date: May 7, 2013
Available On: DVD and Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo
Synopsis: Two feral little girls are found living in an abandoned cabin in the woods. Returned to their uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend Annabel (Jessica Chastain) the girls are slowly reintroduced to normal life. But are they alone, or has something followed them from the cabin in the woods?
Extras: Deleted Scenes, Original Short, Commentary and “The Birth of Mama” featurette
Blu-ray Exclusive Extra: “Matriarchal Secrets: The Visual Effects of Mama”
Recommendation: Mama is a simple creeper that feels like the sort of ghost story that a child would tell. It’s a strangely magical film that mixes dark fantasy with horror in a way that is reminiscent of Tim Burton’s darker films and Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. Director/writer Andres Muschietti establishes a thick tension and plays against genre expectations as he weaves a truly bizarre and often beautiful horror film. It’s nice to see Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and particularly Jessica Chastain in roles that you wouldn’t normally associate them with. The real thrill of the film, however, is watching the child actors, Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nelisse, pull you into their haunted world.
The film’s only major flaw is that it over uses CGI at times. A more simplistic and natural approach, like what was done in the original short film that led to the making of this feature length, would have helped keep the tension at its peak.
-Ryan Michael Painter