Film review: ‘Mama’
Wed, Jan 16, 2013 (6:30 p.m.)
Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) is the sole noteworthy element of Mama, which in every other way is entirely typical of horror movies released during the dumping ground of January. The bass-playing, tattoo-rocking girlfriend of a struggling artist (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) whose brother murdered his wife and then mysteriously disappeared, Chastain winds up in charge of the couple’s two young daughters, who are discovered five years after the incident, living like feral animals in the woods. Something was taking care of them for all that time, it seems, and now that something is OMG IT’S IN THE HOUSE. First-time director Andy Muschietti piles on the cheap jump-scares, and the movie repeatedly violates its own slender logic until the story makes no damn sense. As for Chastain, she’ll be burying this one deep at the bottom of her distinguished résumé for many years to come.