Actors: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nelisse, Daniel Kash
Directors: Andy Muschietti
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Running Time: 100 minutes
Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Guillermo del Toro is producing a horror film? Where do I sign up? His past films that he has served as a producer such as “The Orphanage” and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” have turned out quite well. “Mama” starts off with some decent scares and a nice setup but falls into a rut and loses its originality quickly. The film also takes a page from “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” that I was not a fan of and that is DON’T SHOW THE CREATURE SO MUCH! I thought it was creepy as hell seeing the ghost’s hair in the trailer but then if you shot the CGI ghost every time it doesn’t stay creepy and scary anymore. If you like del Toro’s films then I would recommend at least checking it out. Plus you can’t go wrong looking at Jessica Chastain for 100 minutes. I would call “Mama” a one-time watcher.
Official Premise: Guillermo del Toro, the Academy Award-nominated writer of Pan’s Labyrinth, presents this supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their parents were killed. When the young sisters are found alive in a decrepit cabin, their uncle (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones) and his girlfriend (Oscarr nominee Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty) take them in. As they try to introduce the children to a normal life, Annabel (Chastain) begins to wonder if the traumatized girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home.
Unviersal is known for delivering some impressive Blu-ray presentations and they deliver for sure on “Mama”. Within the two-disc combo pack we get a Blu-ray and DVD disc, along with an iTunes digital copy and an Ultraviolet digital streaming copy. The 1080p transfer is impressive for the horror film and holds up in the very dark settings. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track does a great job in terms of a horror film. It works with the suspense and gets a few good jumps as well.
The special features are what I like to call short but sweet. There is an informative audio commentary track from director/co-writer Andy Muschietti and producer/co-writer Barbara Muschietti. They feel very passionate about the film and it sure shows. There is the original short that inspired Guillermo del Toro to develop the big screen adaptation. This also includes an optional commentary with the Muschietti’s. “The Birth of Mama” is a nice behind-the-scenes look into the film with interviews with del Toro, and other key members. “Matriarchal Secrets: The Visual Effects of Mama” is a look into the blend of practical and CG effects. Lastly there are six deleted scenes with optional commentary, which run about eight minutes and are worth checking out.