Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Mama (4 Stars)

This film may have been written and directed by an Argentinian, but it's a very Japanese film. I'm sure that fans of Japanese horror films will have seen the similarity immediately. I shan't say why here, I'll invite my readers to leave me a comment and say why.

A father crashes his car into the woods with his two daughters, supposedly aged three and one, although they look older. There's a back story to why he's driving through the woods on an icy road, but it's not relevant, and the film would probably have been better omitting it. They take refuge in a cabin in the woods. The father is killed by a supernatural creature, which then adopts the two girls and looks after them as their mother.

The man's identical twin brother Luke devotes his life and his savings to finding his brother and the children. Five years later hunters stumble on the cabin and find the two girls living in a feral state. After spending three months in a hospital for psychiatric evaluation they're adopted by their Uncle Luke and his wife. But the two children have been followed by the creature that they still consider to be their "Mama".

Originally this was made as a short film, and it shows. The back story that I mentioned is unnecessary padding to make it a full length film. Then there's the matter of the brothers being identical twins, which isn't expounded on enough to make it seem more than a loose end. The five-year hunt doesn't add anything to the story. And the custody battles with Luke's sister-in-law just distract from what the film is really about: it's a very well directed horror film with an abundance of suspense.

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