Director: Andres Muschiettii
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Synopsis: Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years…. but how alone were they?
Mama begins quickly, showing us how two of our main characters, Victoria and Lilly become separated from the world and why they spend 5 years of their lives living in a deserted cabin in the woods (there’s always a cabin isn’t there?).
Jessica Chastain plays Annabel, she plays in a band and is completely against having kids. Her boyfriend, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, has been on the search for his two missing nieces ever since they disappeared five years ago. Of course, his hard work pays off and he is finally reunited with the two girls.
Mama is a somewhat old school horror. It’s a ghost story that relies on scares and jumps instead of blood and guts or cheap thrills. It’s similar to last years The Woman In Black in its use of scares and atmospheric tension. The constant stream of strange noises and its well handled use of special effects help to create very uncomfortable viewing at times.
The scares are simple but very effective. There are some very good scenes, mostly involving Jessica Chastain, which create genuine fright in the audience.
Mama is not without its faults though. There are moments that are meant to scare but instead brought out fits of laughter from the audience, particularly towards the end of the film. There is one moment of note, which I’m sure sounded great in theory, but when put on-screen it can only be compared to resembling cousin “it” from The Addams Family.
The good does outweigh the bad though. Chastain is brilliant throughout, the two young girls bring a charm and insecurity to their roles and director Andres Muschietti definitely has a knack for telling an old-fashioned ghost story.