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Ghost in ‘Mama’ frightens audiences
January 24, 2013
This past Friday, the horror movie “Mama” premiered in theaters. Now before I give my critique, keep in mind I’m not the type of person that jumps at every little thing that pops out, but I do know a good scary movie when I see one. And “Mama” had me intrigued up until the end.
This film has all the classic qualities of a ghost story. A woman forced to roam earth in search of the child she lost before her death ends up coming into contact with two girls and raises them as her own. Living in a cabin in the woods, the girls Victoria and Lily become like wild animals until five years later when their uncle’s search party finally finds them. But as Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), take them in, they soon learn that the children’s imaginary figure, Mama isn’t imaginary but in fact a very jealous ghost that will do anything to keep her girls.
“Mama” is more of a suspenseful mystery film at first, but a frightened individual will surely jump throughout. The music is perfect for setting each scary scene. The screams in the theater showed me that even though you may suspect when something is going to pop out at you, you’ll still react—whether you jump, scream, or shield your eyes.
The graphics were very well done. The director, Andres Muschietti, changed the stereotypical image of a figure under a white clock to a dark, flowy gowned spirit that takes the form of her boney, long-nailed human body. Muschietti does maintain the floating aspect of the ghost and even at some points places her under a blanket to keep some of the classic stereotype. However, when you see more of her at the end, she loses some of her fright and simply remains creepy and weird.
The part of the film that made it interesting for me was the two girls that played Victoria and Lily. They were extraordinary actresses for being so young. Megan Charpentier, who played Victoria, did very well with all the emotional scenes, and Isabelle Nelisse, who played Lily, maintained the fear. She was actually the most interesting and scary person of all to me. She maintained her wild side throughout the film. Another interesting aspect was that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau played both the girl’s father and uncle. Basically, these not very well-known actresses and actor did extremely well.
The end was terrible! The film had a lot of build up but while it did come to a close, the closing scene should have been done way differently. I’m not sure if I’d necessarily classify the end as happy. It seemed to me that the director simply had a classic ghost story and didn’t know how to step out of the box and make it anything more. I would definitely say save some money and wait for the DVD release.