'Mama' begins on a mysterious note. It ends on an even more mysterious note. The film, which includes Guillermo del Toro as its executive producer, is based on a three minute-long short film of the same name.
What lies between the start and the end, are some more mysteries coupled with a horrible second half, terrible CGI and preposterous acting! The film is already a big box-office success, for reasons unknown.
Two little girls Victoria and Lilly are taken away by their father, after he's just murdered their mother. The father fakes a car crash and moves in with his daughters to a dingy-looking cottage house in the seemingly spooky woods. He gets killed soon after, by a horrendous apparition looming in that house. The girls are left all alone.
Five years later, we have the father's brother Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) yet looking for the girls. He lives with the attractive lead singer of a local rock band, Annabel (Jessica Chastain). After much deliberation, the two girls are found in the same cottage. Victoria and Lilly, having been cut off from humans at such an impressionable age and for such a long time, have almost become beastly in their mannerisms and body language. Yet, Uncle Lucas and Annabel agree to take them in. However, the looming apparition reappears. Thus, we meet the dreaded Mama!
‘Mama’ sets up the premise nicely in the first half. The plot looks interesting, regardless of the clichés. The acting too, is passable. Jessica looks and acts fine and the two girls are also very convincing as Mama's loyalists. The conflict is also quite interesting and the half-way mark does set up an intriguing supernatural thriller. However, the second half makes up for all the lack of stupidity. Needless drama, out-of-place spooky sequences, two deplorable nightmare scenes, a barrage of unsolved questions and the anti-horrific climax later, the film almost becomes a joke. Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nelisse do a decent job playing the two girls and Chastain is wonderful in her supporting act. However, the writers mar a potentially good first half with the same old B-movie tricks. Andy Muschietti, the director of the film, should just leave great short movies untouched henceforth.
The seemingly scary humming music in 'Mama' is annoying. Check that out first. The rest of the film is even more annoying than that. Pass this one.