When Jeffrey goes off the rails he takes his two daughters on the run, but his erratic driving causes a crash. Staggering out into the snow laid countryside, they find a wooden house in a state of disrepair. They have been there only a short time, when Jeffrey is killed by a shadowy figure. For five years Victoria and Lilly (both aged less than ten) raise themselves, until they are found by a search team. Now Annabel (Jessica Chastain) and Lucas (Nicholaj Coster-Waldau) opt to raise Jeffrey’s two young feral girls, but it seems they have bought someone with them.
Mama is one of the increasing number of horror movies, given a low age certificate to lure in the widest possible audience. The trouble with these type of horror movies is that the lines between horror and fantasy often become blurred, Mama is one such movie.
You truly have a match of two halves with Mama, the first half is edgy, almost realistic in its depiction of horror, the second half is utterly a let down, with an increasingly frustrating outcome, and a million miles away from the first half.
I wont get critical about the back half, I’ll focus on the positives, the first half is incredibly edgy, very well written, and proper edge of the seat stuff. The killing that takes place, its brutal and aggressive, and completely compelling.
Jessica Chastain and Nicolaj Coster-Wadau’s charaxters are sadly half formed, the small army of scriptwriters make a lot of flop moves with these characters, Lucas is strangely missing, for a really long period of time and when he is around is slightly distant. Annabel left to care for the kids is a lot distant, she’d sooner be doing other things. How these two work together is a complete mystery to the watching audience.
At times it works, but for a lot it does not, Mama is one movie I’ll not be revisiting, even giving its plus points.
Mama is in UK cinemas from February 22nd.