Movie Review: “Mama”

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 9:00 am.

Summary: Sisters are left on their own in a cabin in the woods after their psycho father tries to kill them. A ghost looks after the sisters for five years until they are discovered — so much for a search and rescue team! The ghost, known as Mama, is a bit protective over the little darlings and has a past of her own.

Review: Jessica Chastain is the “It” girl in Hollywood with her award-winning performance in Zero Dark Thirty. However, there is a different Chastain in Mama — an up-and-coming actress in a D-rated horror flick who probably had no idea she would become Tinseltown royalty when signing up for this celluloid yawn-fest. Presented by Guillermo del Toro and first-time director Andres Muschietti, Mama is monotonous ridiculousness.

Channeling the atrociousness of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, one can tell Mama will be a dud within the first 15 minutes: a crazed daddy, a lone cabin in the snowy woods, a ghost that flies around like a Disney villain and Jessica Chastain’s Carol Brady meets a Mary J. Blige circa 1994 wig. Plus, a disconnected plot of a jealous ghost who attaches herself to two abandoned children.

The disaster of Mama is not any fault of Jessica Chastain — she is barely promoting the film. One can imagine she hopes the movie will quietly disappear as she snags her well-deserved Oscar. But even in this terrible flick, Miss Jessica is still fun to watch. She bounces around as a rock ‘n roll chick and girlfriend of the uncle who finds the disturbed sisters. The trouble with Mama is due to a humdrum script, roll-your-eyes special effects and zero scares. For first-time director Muschietti, hopefully there is more we can see from him — no one could’ve made Mama a good movie and no one should’ve tried.

Unimaginative and far from scary, don’t believe anyone who tells you Mama is worth your money or time.

Mama is in theaters today.

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