It looks good and is well acted but it moves so fast the plot progression feels jarringly unnatural and lacks any subtlety, so there's no chance of any scares. The actual visage of Mama isn't nearly creepy enough and there's no significant gore; just lights flickering for no reason. It's basically a weak remix of "The Ring" and the ending removes any weight the rest of the film may have had.
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.
Del Toro as a producer seems to be even more influential than Del Toro as a director, and his particular blend of overly-sentimentalised haunted house shenanigans involving children in peril gets yet another airing here. The eponymous Mama figure is actually genuinely scary until the final sequences that are so overblown and operatic that it ruins any feelings of good favour I had toward it.
Pretty good chiller with some pretty atmospheric scares until the full reveal. At that point it brings back to mind 'Darkness Falls' (not a good thing). Kids are well cast but Chastain looks a little silly in her goth drag. Worth catching for the horror fan for a rip roaring first half and for the ridicule you can hurl at the screen in the second half.
well, there is a big difference between director and producer or " x presents y movie". I need to teach myself it, but I couldn't handle till now. Everytime that I see someone that I like presenting a movie (what happened in this case , with Guilhermo del Toro), I quickly associate that him will be responsible for the whole movie. Silly me.
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.