9
Mar
2013
Brief: Mama
Brief: Mama
Jordan
I am not a fan of horror movies, so it always takes a bit for me to give in and sit down for one, but I'm all for expanding horizons, so I try to do it every once in a while. Mama is a cracking good ghost story (co-written by Doctor Who scribe Neil Cross) which is surprisingly not stingy about showing off its monster, something I appreciate in a genre that often subsists on obfuscation. The jump-shocks here aren't fake outs of the kind that tend to drive me crazy; there are no empty scares here, which I also appreciate (and the one trick the film keeps going back to is effectively creepy every time). Nickolaj Coster-Waldau (better known as Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones) and Jessica Chastain are both good, though the former is under-used. Chastain acquits herself well as a woman who doesn't want kids, and especially doesn't want these kids, and her performance lends a depth to the movie that keeps it from ever feeling like a hollow succession of scares. Though the climax of the film goes on a bit long, it hits a surprising number of emotional beats, and veers off in some unexpected directions along the way. This is a horror film, sure, but it has enough going on emotionally that it keeps you committed to the characters and their dynamics even when it isn't actively trying to terrify you.


Read more of Jordan's Film Criticism here
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