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Review: Mama (2013)


You wouldn't normally expect to see a movie that combines feral kids and ghosts, right?  Well, 2013's "Mama" is unexpected that way...

Years after their disappearance, Lily and Victoria are discovered living in a supposedly haunted forest.  They are taken to live with their Uncle Lucas and their Aunt Annabel (no relation to the doll).

But something has followed them from the forest... something that wants the girls back...

Guillermo Del Toro's "Mama" is not, unfortunately, one of his better movies.  The story idea is great, but the execution is a little flat in my opinion.  The plot progression is steady and moves towards an interesting- though predictable climax.

The main flaw is the characters.  The two girls- Victoria and Lily felt like they were more or less a MacGuffin, rather than fully realized characters in themselves.  Victoria gets a bit more growth and development than Lily... but not much.  Lucas doesn't get much development either, and felt like he was just sorta there without any real impact.  Annabel, the aunt gets the most- but even then you're not really felt engaged by the character.  I was also really disappointed by the character of Mama.  Beyond the very basic revelation of her story, you're not compelled to feel much towards her.

I can't say too much about the acting.  It was standard in my opinion- not great, but not shitty either.  I liked the performances given by Jennifer Chastain (Aunt Annabel), Megan Charpentier (Victoria), and Isabelle Nelisse (Lily) though.

There was some decent camera work, but the CGI used for Mama was very obvious CGI.

Ultimately, I was left feeling, "meh".

"Mama" might be good for a single viewing, but certainly not more than once.  It's going into "The Bad".

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