This is a fairytale-fable that attempts horror techniques and conventions. So inevitably it ends up feeling like a dog trying to be a cat. It could have been a great fairytale about motherhood, but ended up being a 1 hour 39 minute 'Are you afraid of the dark' episode.
J.A. Bayona would make a better movie out of this, but it's not that terrible. Forget about the cheap scares and the painfully lazy script showing the CGI-ghost all the time, Mama is a dark, twisted fairytale. Kinda sweet too. And I just can't ignore Jessica Chastain wearing a Misfits Fiend Club t-shirt. What a hottie.
I thought that the story was really compelling and quite original, knowing how dull and predictable modern American horror movies can be. It's not amazing, but it got me going, and made me jump a few times.
The typical del Toro routine of sentimentality coupled with arbitrary slasher-esque disposals of major characters can work under the actual dude's hand and manipulation, but with Muschietti, the none of his ploys work. Visually, once "Mama" is revealed, she looks like a silly puppet or something Bruce Campbell should be beating the shit out of.
With an extremely well-written screenplay, director Andrés Muschietti delivers the near perfect fantasy/horror movie. It's the kind of film movie students could write dozens of page about providing that they have read a few books about fairy tales. Masterpiece.
Horrible. Just don't see this. Apart from the over-acting, character inconsistencies, plotholes, and overuse of CGI, the concept is derivative and the direction is pretty much non-existent. Not to mention, Chastain's character is supposed to be "in a rock band" and yet she doesn't know how to properly turn off an amp. Muschietti is a cinematic illiterate.
What a disappointment. Outside of the always wonderful Chastain, the only great thing about it was definitely the shot for shot remake of the original short that was stuffed into the movie at one point.