“Mama”: If you’re looking for horror, look elsewhere
This past week, I went on a mission to experience the fable horrors of the movie “Mama.” Since I haven’t seen too many horror movies, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and “Mama” proved even more unpredictable than I expected.
After I sat down in my seat and watched a trailer for a comedy, I began to second-guess my decision to watch a horror film, but it was too late. Immediately, the horror began with scenes of abused children and misguided father. Unlike most horror movies, “Mama” exposed the monster of the film before the title sequence.
The premise of the film centers around two young girls who are lost in the forest, where they survive under the care of a monster named “Mama.” After five years away from civilization, their uncle discovers the girls and places them in the care of a psychiatrist. However, “Mama” is unwilling to relinquish her grip on the girls, whom she has chosen to replace a child she lost long ago.
As the movie progressed, each scene offered bits of terror, until finally, the monster’s full backstory is revealed. It was a typical horror film backstory, including the tale of a psychotic weirdo who broke out of an asylum. Yet the way they conveyed the backstory was truly unique, expressing the entire image through the main character’s dream.
While the movie continued with seemingly endless shots of gore and guts, I nearly drifted off to sleep. If it weren’t for the movie’s intense use of sound, I might have actually fallen asleep.
However, near the end of the movie, “Mama” caught my attention again. The monster is about to kill the main characters, when suddenly, it halts. I was in complete shock. What happened? What was going on? The monster is finally presented with the remains of the child that it had been searching for all along. I was euphoric that for once, a horror film had a pleasant ending, one that wouldn’t haunt my dreams.
Unfortunately, my hopes were misguided. In an instant, everything changed. The monster became displeased for all that remained of the nearly 200 year old infant was bones. Unable to cope with the loss of its own child, the monster grabbed the youngest of the girls who replaced her dead infant and jumped off a cliff.
My first instinct was to be terrified, but to my surprised, I felt a different feeling in my gut instead. I began to laugh. Was that the big ending? The monster kills itself? Two hours of film, and I was only waiting for the monster to kill itself?
Never before has a movie put me on such emotional rollercoaster from scared to bored to hysterically entertained. “Mama” has its terrifying moments, but if you’re looking for horror, you may want to search elsewhere. As I drove home, I knew I would sleep peacefully that night.