I watched a movie this weekend called “MAMA”. Have you seen it around on places like Vudu or Amazon Instant Video? It’s not on Netflix, so I had to rent it. But when I saw the trailer for it, I knew it would be one I wanted to see.
MAMA is about Victoria and Lily, two little girls with a very disturbed father. An economic crash has sent him off the rails of the crazy train, took a Saturday Night Special to work with him, and said hello to a few of his co-workers. Then he showed up at home with a similar greeting for his wife. He takes the girls and packs them into the car – Lily is a one-year old, Victoria about three.
A car accident leaves him walking to an old cabin in the woods. But there’s someone there already, and after breaking up some furniture to start a fire in the fireplace, he decides he’s going to end it all for his little girls too.
What happens next is predictable, but still well done. The story unfolds in the credits. That’s right, you have to watch the credits to get the gist of what’s happening in the story, and when we resume the film, it’s five years later.
There were some very stereotypical tropes used in the movie, and Jessica Chastain stars as a drunken “rock band” bassist who is, in my estimation, far too old to carry that part off convincingly.
The usual jump moments were there, and some standard stereotypes for these sorts of movies. An expert – in this case a psychiatrist who figures it all out, and believes unquestioningly – is there to help us along, and there’s a meddler we can detest, too, in the form of the aunt who’s an aunt to the slain wife. The central character is not, interestingly, the brother of the crazy financier, who is a definite impact character. No, the central character is the girlfriend (“Annabel”, Chastain).
So, it was an old standard for this sort of movie. The acting made it go a bit better than the story. There were a few plot holes. And the ending, while a bit unexpected, was also a bit unsatisfying. There are a lot of reasons for that, but the primary one is the lack of closure to the threads of the story.
Overall, I’d give MAMA three stars. Not horrible, but not great either. Don’t waste the five bucks on it I did, but if you can get it for free somewhere, it’s okay for a night when nothing else is interesting.
Next up for me is Sinister.
Anyone seen that? should I bother?