REVIEW: Mama (2013)

mama

 

Mama: B-

Everybody has that one thing that makes them shit their britches. Bloodcrypt Keeper’s is creepy old women, so he asked ol’ Dr. Loomis to review this flick and let him know if he could handle it as long as he had his blankie.

The answer: probably yes. Mama is the creepy-but-flawed story of two young girls who are kidnapped by their psychotic father (Kingslayer Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones) after he caps their mom. They end up in an isolated cabin, where he’s about to complete the family holocaust by pulling a George on his eldest daughter’s Lennie when a floating, wraith-like presence makes off with him.

Fast-forward a few years, and the Kingslayer’s brother (who is just the Kingslayer with a different haircut) has hired some dudes to find his nieces and presumably his brother, but he’s not the point because he’s a wife-killing piece of shit. The girls get found in the cabin, where they’ve apparently been living off cherries and dust bunnies. They’re also not terribly well-adjusted, because they’ve been raised by the aforementioned wraith bitch, whom they refer to with a mixture of love and terror as “Mama.”

The Kingslayer and his girlfriend (the CIA Chick who got Bin Laden) bring them home to live with them, and CIA Chick is not totally on board. She’s this punk rawk gurl and doesn’t dig kids all that much, much less kids who snarl and gnash at the breakfast table. Shit gets worse for her when Mama moves into the kids’ closet and pushes the Kingslayer down the stairs one night, hospitalizing him. Of course, this enables CIA Chick to find her inner nurturer, and the central conflict of the film is the allegiance of the two girls to choose between CIA Chick, who has great boobs and makes them macaroni n’ cheese or Mama, who flies them all around their room and kills whomever gets in the way.

There are some good scares here, although the Mama from the short film that inspired the feature is scarier than the one they ended up using. It’s also not totally clear what, exactly her powers are: blunt force, soul-sucking, haunting, all of these? The younger girl is actually probably the most frightening thing in the film; she’s like a combination of a feral cat and that dude James Bond chases at the beginning of Casino Royale.

There’s also a subplot with a psychologist who hypnotizes the girls that doesn’t really make sense, but I’m willing to admit that could’ve just been the gin talking and not a flaw of the film itself. Ultimately, it’ll scare folks like the Keeper just enough, but their britches should stay shit-free.

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