Jessica Chastain as a Rocker Chick!


17 January 2013| No Comments on Mama     by Sean Chavel


Another ghost movie that tries to get by strictly on style. Mama doesn’t cut it, but Jessica Chastain constructs an unlikely rocker chick character (OMG Tight T-shirts!). This kind of movie is a wind-up toy to scare you, manipulate you, and hopefully crap your pants. Maybe, just maybe, it will work for you if you have seen only three or four movies of its type in your life. But if you’ve seen a dozen already, then only be warned that nothing special is here.

The cinematography, with its chill-blues and subtle black to white contrasts, is worth mentioning. Again nothing special, but not bad. But you can only appreciate that anyway for so long. The same goes for Chastain, in a black wig and temporary tattoos, as a reluctant foster mom to two young girls who have been spooked, and cursed, by a ghostly apparition (hey, I saw this same movie last year a couple of times!). Chastain’s boyfriend is played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) who suffers a conk on the head early, and goes comatose, which is the state movie characters have to be in if they are to have “visions.”

And so, by outrageous circumstances, Chastain is watching over these girls in a big but borderline spooky house with apprehensive closet space (just like “Intruders” last year, the ghost hibernates in the closet). Chastain has a dream of 19th century cliff-jumping martyrdom, an act of memory transference by the ghost, reveals how the ghost came to be. But its only then has Chastain declared to not give up on these girls, even if they are too odd to not be placed in a more suitable institution.

Ideally, a date night where you pay little attention to what’s on the screen is what a movie like “Mama” is for. Don’t be sucked in by that seal “Guillermo del Toro presents.” It’s not like he wrote or directed the damn thing.

100 Minutes. Rated PG-13.


Film Cousins: “The Guardian” (1990); “Dark Water” (2005); “Intruders” (2012, Britain); “The Apparition” (2012).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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