A horror film that will have you screaming at the characters to cut their losses and bump off a couple of very young, innocent children, Mama is psychological horror at its most irritating. Although an enjoyable and fairly visually pleasing watch, it becomes more than a little frustrating that these two people (the uncle of the girls’ and his enduring partner) don’t just ditch the kids and save themselves.
When his brother kills his wife and escapes with his two young daughters, Lucas doesn’t think he’ll see his nieces again. But five years later the girls are found in a remote abandoned cabin, fatherless and almost completely feral. Lucas and his less than willing partner Annabel, who doesn’t even want children of her own, take the girls in and then things get weird; their ghosty friend whom they call Mama has other ideas.
Lucas ends up in hospital after Mama pushes him down the stairs with her creepy ghost hands, and poor Annabel, who at first doesn’t even want anything to do with the two freaky kids, is of course left to play mum. It’s quite easy to feel sorry for her and despise the children, she doesn’t want anything to do with them and then she ends up left alone with two creepy and chaotic kids and a vengeful ghost because her partner insists on being a martyr and taking on his nieces even though they’ve been living alone in a run down old cabin for the past five years. There are many holes in the story that make it hard to believe, in that position I know I would’ve handed the kids over to their meddling Aunt, who seems hell bent on getting custody of them herself. I’d give her what she wanted and get the hell out!
It’s a reasonable film with a few jumps and for the most part is visually pleasing, the ghost is creepy although her face is so weird and misshapen that it becomes almost funny. There are plot holes galore and it all seems too hard to believe and very unrealistic. For me the main issues were a) Annabel surely would’ve handed the kids over to their Aunt when Lucas fell into a coma…they’re way too much to handle for one person, and they weren’t even her nieces and b) the ghost is getting all creepy, murderous and evil but has no real reason to: she jumped to her death whilst holding her baby, and the baby got caught on a branch as she fell and she had no idea where it’d got to and spent the rest of her life (death) searching for it. Nuns took her baby, and I guess she just hated people for chasing after her and making her lose her baby to a branch, not that she was a good mother anyway, what with committing suicide with her baby in her arms! The story is lacking, the visual effects are reasonable but the ghost sometimes verges on hilarious and the children (especially the youngest one) are incredibly irritating. Something so difficult to believe is hard to invest in, and the story becomes laughable. I wanted so bad to love this film, but thinking about it it’s really not that great, and I can see why its critical reception wasn’t too good!