Jessica Chastain as Annabel

Jessica Chastain as Annabel

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Lucas/Jeffrey

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Lucas/Jeffrey

Directed by Andrés Muschietti

Screenplay by Neil Cross, Andrés Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti

Story by Andrés Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti

I’ve been trying to think of something to say about this movie for hours and I’m still having trouble with getting the words in my brain to flow out of my fingers as they tap the keys and magically appear on my laptop screen. I have tried every which way to describe the film and it comes out sounding like a 2nd-grader writing about his summer vacation:



Johnny Mountain

2nd Grade

Miss Husky’s Homeroom

Mama is about two little girls named Victoria and Lilly who are kidnapped by their daddy and taken for a ride. Their car crashes and they end up in a ditch before going to a cabin where daddy tries to blow their brains out with a gun that has bullets in it (I was a morbid 2nd-grader). Instead daddy is taken away by ‘Mama’ and she cares for the sisters for five years until their nice uncle and his hot rocker chick girlfriend (I was also a lewd and lascivious 2nd-grader) take care of them with the help of a doctor who helps people who are not right in the head to get better. Little do they know that ‘Mama’ has followed the girl’s home and that their lives are in grave danger from this appaloo- this appleritio- this ghost that wants the two sisters for her own. Mama did not really scare me, but as my dad says it was creepier than Dennis Rodman in a dress. (I’m in 2nd Grade; who the heck is Dennis Rodman?) I’m Johnny Mountain and I’ll see you at the movies. (I got that from Ebert).

Seriously, the movie is…pretty dang good. Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty and The Tree of Life) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Headhunters, Kingdom of Heaven) are good as rocker chick girlfriend Annabel and Uncle Lucas. Also turning in adequate roles are Daniel Kash (remember Pvt. Spunkmeyer in Aliens?) as Dr. Charles Dreyfuss and Jane Moffat as the sisters great-aunt Jean. As for the roles of the sisters; Megan Charpentier (Red Riding Hood, Jennifer’s Body)  and Isabelle Nélisse (Whitewash) are both quite good. Mama has a fairy tale quality to it, albeit a dark one, that is evident in films such as Pan’s Labyrinth or The Devil’s Backbone; both of which were helmed by producer Guillermo Del Toro. Mama is never truly scary; but it is equal parts unnerving and creepy with very few lagging moments. Oh wait, scratch that last sentence; my inner child already said that in his own charming way. Wasn’t I a cutie?

8 thoughts on “MAMA

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