Directed by: Andres Muschietti
Release Date: 2013Victoria and Lilly are left to their own devices through the worst circumstances possible. Their father kidnaps them and takes them to an abandoned house in the woods, which becomes their home for the next five years (without daddy). Through wallpaper drawings, the audience is shown the ways they live for the next five years. Then, they are found.
What follows is the re-acclimation into society for both girls; Lilly has a much more difficult time because she was so young at the time of the kidnapping. They live with their Uncle Luke who is Daddy's twin (because they look exactly the same - intentional or unintentional? Unsure about that) and girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain). Creepy occurrences in the house cause both Luke and Annabel to wonder what exactly is happening and who Mama is. The third act shows us Mama's backstory and a surprise ending to a formulaic horror film.
My review sounds as if I didn't enjoy the picture, right? On the contrary! I did enjoy this horror picture albeit the usual spooky sounds, usage of CGI effects to show a distorted ghost, and an overly cacophonous film score to boot. The end result was so unexpected, I was floored. I was even disturbed. Not as disturbed and saddened as I was at the end of Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door but still in the same vein.
This film will disappoint most horror fans because there's nothing particularly novel about the execution in plot, Jessica Chastain's character was so unlikable, and there were many implausible elements in plot development. However, the most salient aspect of this film was the acting from both girls, especially Lilly. She was my favorite in the movie. I read a post on IMDB.com in which someone mentioned how beautiful the cinematography was in this picture. The film was beautiful but not gorgeous enough for this horror fan to comment on this fact.
Overall, I walked in with low expectations and walked out completely satisfied. Don't watch this with high expectations. Otherwise, you'll be very upset.