I guarantee My girlfriend had a better review of the film than I’m about to write.
When we finished the film, a few minutes after, she said the following.
“It was good, until it wasn’t.”
What starts as an atmospheric film about a paranormal entity and its impact upon abandoned children in the woods, quickly travels to what I like to call, “Sappy Town.” It suffers from the same ending all Guillermo Del Toro presents films seem to. This being the cheesy, “and the children lived happily ever after, so there’s that” finale. I’ll put up with it when it’s a Guillermo Del Toro film, but when you sit through a stinker like Mama, you start to think it’s lame.
What’s most disappointing about Mama, is, much like Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, it had a lot of potential. Much like DBAOTD, it had great visual effects. Though, in Mama, the CG is used a little too much: you don’t need to CG a kid hustling around on all fours. Get a stunt kid for that shit. Similar to DBAOTD, the source material was great. In Mama’s case, it was an unnerving Spanish language short.
Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau proves he can act outside of the show (unlike Kit Herrington, AKA Jon Snow, AKA I can’t even fake caring about being in Silent Hill 2 like Sean Bean is). And yet, he gets knocked out, and spends most of his time outside of the picture. We are left with a Brody Dalle from The Distillers lookalike.
Chastain and whatever the actresses, actors names of the children were, can’t carry the film.
Hate to say it, but I think Guillermo might need to stop presenting so much. Or, at the very least, maybe he should present only Spanish language films? Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice, and all that jazz.