In theaters now, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Raven Devanney bravely went to see a screening of the new thriller/chiller, "Mama." This PG-13 rated movie isn’t for everyone, but if you are a fan of horror, and like to be scared silly, you shouldn’t miss it. Though not the most original film, it packs a heavy fear-factor for every ghost-loving movie goer.
Reviewed by Raven Devanney, age 15, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic
"Mama" tells the story of two young sisters, Lily and Victoria, who are abandoned in the woods for five years. When the girls are found and taken into custody by their uncle and his girlfriend Annabelle, everyone begins to wonder how these toddlers could have survived for so long on their own. The girls’ strange behavior leads Annabell to believe that the girls weren’t alone in the woods after all, and in fact, a troubled ghost called Mama was caring for them. But when they leave the forest, they don’t leave Mama.
I really enjoy this movie. It is definitely scary to watch, but when it is over it doesn’t leave you feeling afraid. I’m convinced this movie is a mix between "The Woman in Black" and "The Possession." It has a very similar ghost with the same motives as The Woman in Black, and has the same creepy bugs from "The Possession." The ending is especially similar to "The Woman in Black." No spoiler alerts or anything, but you think all will be fine but it’s not. I guess you shouldn’t go to a horror film if you’re looking for a happy ending.
I like the cinematography, and the use of lighting and sound track, to set the ominous mood for this film. The dull colors and grey wash of the scenery really helps the spook level of the movie. The one thing I have a real problem with was the animation of Mama’s face in the last few scenes. This is supposed to be the height of the horror, the film’s climax, but Mama’s face is so unrealistic that it pulls me out of my horrified trance and I am no longer scared.
My favorite character is Annabell (Jessica Chastain), because she isn’t too enthusiastic about suddenly having to take on a motherly role, especially since the girls have serious social problems. Her boyfriend, the main caretaker of the kids, gets seriously injured, leaving Annabell in charge. I love watching her relationship develop into love for Lily and Victoria, and when Mama comes to play, she does a wonderful job showing her fear.
My favorite scene is in the very beginning of the movie, when it shows how one-year-old Lily and three-year-old Victoria end up in the woods. It is a very twisted scene, but I like how they show the girls adapting to their new surroundings. They adapt through crayon drawings on the walls, which is very creative.
I give Mama 4 out of 5 stars because it is definitely thrilling, but since it is so similar to some other films in this genre, I have to take a point away for lack of originality. I recommend "Mama" for ages 13 and up because of its intense content. If you’re into anything Horror, Thriller or ghost related, then you’ll love Mama so go check it out!