Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Let me warn you - this won't be easy.

We needed help. We've got two small kids, and we'd reached a point that something drastic needed to happen. If not, they'd be home alone, eating Cheerios off the floor and essentially raising themselves. So, in addition to me quitting my job, my wife and I summoned a supernatural being from a mystical place, and invited her to our home in Pennsylvania. In other words, my mom moved here from Hawai'i to watch the kids.

Depending on who you ask, my mom isn't scary. The film Mama, from writer/director Andres Muschietti, isn't either. But it was supposed to be. Instead it's yet another shitty PG-13 horror movie, churned out to the delight of twelve-year olds, who likely confuse mysterious with hard-to-see, and terror with just plain terrible.

Let's be fair, even though it fails miserably, Mama had a chance. The idea of (sort of) re-domesticating two kids left to raise themselves had promise. That alone is kind of creepy, I'll admit. Layer in the fact that for those five years some angry (yet loving?) ghost bitch was watching over them and is presumably going to be real pissed when they're gone makes for an interesting premise. If only it had stopped there. If only.

Holy shit, this movie is dumb. Almost to the point where I was offended. And I'm an idiot. But, at the very least, I understand logic and reason, and this movie is completely void of both. Okay, fine, the main character is a ghost, so I should probably let some shit go, but still. I've never been left so dumbstruck by the end of a movie. Never.

But let's back it up, shall we? After a pretty shitty day (three murders with a smidge of kidnapping), some guy crashes his car down the side of a snowy mountain with his two daughters in the backseat. And even though I can use Google Earth to see into the backyard of my childhood home from space, an entire car simply can't be found at ground level. Anyway, the two girls end up in a, get this, spooooky cabin! with dear old Dad. Dad's had enough and despite miraculously surviving the car accident, decides it's time to shoot everybody. And before things take an ugly turn, Mama shows up, kickin' ass and rolling cherries. Okay, this is kind of dumb, but whatever. I'm still in.

From there, it's five years later and apparently in that time every human being on the planet has become an irrational f--ktard. Sure, our leads Jessica Chastain (playing the oldest punk rocker, Annabelle) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (who I mentally referred to as Not Sawyer) are attractive and capable actors, but their characters are horrendous. I wouldn't let either of these two watch my f--king dog, but somehow they're left in charge of two, yes two, feral children, one of whom is often prone to eating various moths under various beds. But, hold on. Annabelle and Not Sawyer are flat-broke. They live in a shitty, moth-free apartment. Forget it. This isn't going to work. Movie's over. Oh, I forgot. Apparently the state has a gigantic picturesque house that they use for case studies, cause you know, that makes sense. You guys can just live there. It's big enough for the family, and any overprotective, bloodthirsty supernatural wenches they might know.

At this point, I was somehow still on board, but it was more to watch Jessica Chastain jiggle around in her low cut shirts than anything else. The ending, as I've mentioned (and which I'll probably spoil in a minute), was so impossibly bad, all the cleavage in the world couldn't make up for it. Seriously. I dare you, no, I double dare you to find a movie with a more ridiculous final five minutes than Mama.

On that all too improbable note, here are the Yays and Boos. If given the choice to stay with real people or, say, jump off a cliff with Ghost Mom, I'm not sure what these two would do. Sounds like a physical challenge.
I could only think of one thing I'd grant her custody of. And it ain't kids.


  • I've already mentioned it, but Chastain is kinda hot here. Even if she looks like she exists exclusively in a Hot Topic.
  • Even in a bad movie, I always appreciate it when I learn a life lesson. Note to self: If you want feral children to instantly love you? Give them eye wear. Or if no spectacles are to be found/don't apply...warm their paws. I mean hands, warm their sweet, dirty little hands.
  • I wasn't scared, ever, but it is slightly creepy how these little bitches scurry about. I mean it. The little one can scurry like a motherf--ker.
  • And finally, I would instantly watch, no- I would purchase a sequel, where everyone explains what happened to Social Services. Let me get this straight...you're alive? But your sister is dead? But not really, right? Because she's a blue moth, now? And this 'Mama' you speak of? She's been dead for a hundred years, right? And she can fly, but she also jumped off a cliff, um, to her death? Am I getting this right? This sounds f--king awesome, right? Right?

You got a little... There's something...it's on your...oh, nevermind. Carry on.

  • As cute as the girls were, at least initially, even that was over done. Glasses or lisp. You can't have both.
  • Daddy there's a woman outside...she's not touching the floor. After this line, I wish I wasn't touching the floor either.
  • Professional trackers. These guys have been looking for five years and not only have they missed the car, but they also missed the f--king cabin thirty yards from it.
  • Mama likes her some tug-o-war. Makes sense. I mean, if I had a nickel for every time my mom challenged me to arguably the most dangerous game an adult could play with a small child I'd be a f--king millionaire.
  • So there's this thing that grows out of the wall wherever Mama is. It's kind of like a giant, scary vagina that ejects moths. If I found one of those in my house, I might actually, I don't know, look at it. Their plan? Don't investigate it. Times 900.
  • Speaking of bad calls, perhaps you might want to invest in some light bulbs, guys? I'm pretty sure it would help ease the house's overwhelming vibe of malfunctioning insane asylum. Unless that's what you guys were going for.
  • Scary Archive Lady. What the f--k is her deal? She's a little too generous, don't you think? First, she'll give you the most ludicrous definition of a ghost in modern history. Then she'll give you a dead baby. And to think it's not even your birthday.
  • What the shit was with Doctor A-hole? Jeez, this guy was record settingly awful. The low lights include:
    • In response to the question Am I safe? this doctor actually says, Give me a break. Who do I punch? The writer, the actor, or both?
    • When this obvious genius starts putting things together, guess what he does? He goes to the cabin. At night.
    • But what really angered me more than anything? This f--ker gets full voice-over rights. Okay, Almost Tony Shalhoub. Now you've crossed the line, prick.
  • Product placement/this line: I need the number of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I want you to say this out loud. Right now. Oh, but you can't sound like an asshole when you say it. IMPOSSIBLE!
  • Modern ghosts/evil spirits. Since when did all spirits decide that they had to move like underwater backwards spiders? It was cool the first four hundred times.
  • Okay, this is really a Yay, but when Aunt Bitchface shows up and gets entered? I almost spit out my cereal. That was hysterical.
  • And finally, the ending. It simply makes zero sense. Mama gets her baby, which is f--king stupid, but whatever, she's complete, let's end this shit, right? But what happens next is so completely mind bottling that I simply couldn't fathom that it actually happened. It's been almost a week and I'm still furious. A f--king moth? Really?
Oh my. Looks like I went off the rails again. Shit. Well, I gotta go to bed. Tomorrow morning, well, today morning, I have to head to the train station in Maryland. I have to pick up someone that's been gone for a week, even though it feels like much, much longer. Her name? Irrelevant.

But I call her Mama.


  1. A friend asked me the other day, what's the worst movie I saw this year. I knew I saw a few pretty bad ones, but I just couldn't recall an obvious candidate at that time. You've finally reminded me of this movie! It was horrible!

    There was plenty of reasons it wasn't scary, but for me the two major ones were (1) they showed the ghost (mama) way too often (2) the ghost was visualized by crappy-CGI..... give the traditional make-up & costume anytime.... a haunted theme park employee would have been scarier!

    1. Mama, though not scary, at least was intriguing when we didn't really get to see her. But, like you mentioned, as soon as we get the close-ups of her doing that thing dogs do when it seems like they're really listening, it all falls apart.

      CGI ghosts are almost always terrible. I'm with you...just put some scary ass lady in a costume and makeup and roll the dice.

      Haunted theme park employee? Yes, please.

  2. Priceless review. We actually liked this movie. I'll admit, though, that I didn't really find it scary. The creepiest part was the kids scurrying around at the beginning. Good luck with your job situation!

    1. STEPH! How have you been?

      What could you guys have possibly liked about this movie!? I mean, even if you were with it for the most part, the end is so ludicrous! Ah, those damn scurrying kids.

      Thanks...so far, not so good....

    2. I'm sorry things aren't going well on the job front right now. :-( I've been working an extra job (the 3rd shift gig I mentioned) trying to pay some bills and get some college savings put away. Y'know, now that my older kids are almost grown. *LOL* Never late than never.

      Yes, we liked Mama -- I actually found the scurrying kids creepy. I didn't even mind the crazy-ass ending. All I can say in my own defense is that I'm not a big horror movie aficionado, so nothing in this genre -- short of a nubile teenage girl being whacked while searching the basement or making out with her boyfriend -- is too trite or worn out for me.

      But seriously ... am I taking flak for my taste in movies from the guy who defended They Live?!? Just kidding of course. Actually, after my son and I panned They Live, my daughter really dug it She said it was a great bad movie. To each her own ...

    3. Eh, the good thing about the bad job? I'm home with the kids whenever I need to be. Hmm. That's also the bad thing...Good luck to you, though. I'm kind of working third shift, too...it's ridiculous.

      Hey, feel free to like Mama all you want, but c'mon, the ending? I let out a desperate What the f--k? to my empty living room and am still awaiting a logical response. Yep. Still waiting.

      They Live is frickin' Gone With the Wind compared to Mama. I mean, magical sunglasses are awesome. People turning into moths upon impact? Decidedly not awesome.

    4. Hah! I'm just going to have to agree to disagree with you on this point, my friend. You can have your flick with the magical sunglasses and the longest, most pointless fight scene in cinematic history. ;-)

      Every parent of a newborn is working 3rd shift. And 1st. And 2nd. I remember being relieved to go into the office where I was able to take a pee break whenever I needed one. The crazy thing is I actually miss those years. At my age, I'd never survive it, but I still miss it. Hugs to you, your beautiful wife, and the little ones.

    5. I can't imagine missing it... yet. My wife has third shift at the house, I'm working actually 90 minutes from my house till like 4 in the morning. Then I get the kids! It's madness.

      What about you? You sleep at all?

    6. Wow! That sounds crazy. What kind of work are you doing at 4 a.m. (if it's O.K. to ask that)?

      I'm doing O.K. sleepwise. I work 3rd shift on weekends, when there isn't much else going on, and my kids are old enough to fend for themselves when I sleep during the day. By "fend for themselves" I mean spent all their time sleeping or video gaming and eating little or no food of nutritional value, but I figure they'll survive. :-P

    7. It's ridiculous.

      That parenting plan of "fending"? Pretty sure my son is doing a little of that himself. He watches YouTube on my mom's iPad like his life depends on it. Grrr.

      Good luck to you and your grind. I'm hoping I'm simply putting in time before a real opportunity opens up. We'll see...

    8. Good luck. From what I've gleaned from reading your blog, I get the feeling you're a fabulous teacher.

    9. That is an impossibly nice thing for you to say. I appreciate that. I kind of hope i get one more crack at teaching before whatever it is comes up, but it's looking doubtful.

      Teaching was, at times, the best.

      Especially in July.

  3. "It's kind of like a giant, scary vagina that ejects moths" hahaha that was awesome! I was really pissed at this movie. If they would've left out the cheap horror gags (and the idea that social services would give them a house for a study that wasn't totally rigged with cameras, if they gave up said house in the first place) I think it could've been a potentially interesting drama. And Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is gorgeous and he was only in the movie for like 15 minutes. Bull shit.

    1. For a second, I thought that this movie was spiraling into 'found footage' territory with the lame house setup...but apparently not? At least it would have made sense, and the cheap horror gags potentially easier to stomach. But, no...they opted for, well, whatever the Hell it ended up being.

      That guy. Only after the flick did I realize that was a Lannister...

  4. "Modern ghosts/evil spirits. Since when did all spirits decide that they had to move like underwater backwards spiders?" - yes. It's so goddamn stupid and it's in every single movie about ghosts nowadays. What the hell is that? Dance move from Hell?

    The ending really is ridiculous - in fact you are right, it would be hard or even impossible to think of a movie with more dumb ending.

    1. Honestly. Did every shitty horror director take some blood oath that all creepy shit would move in that ridiculous fashion? And if that if is a go to dance move in Hell...well, let me just say I can't wait to see a floor full of peeps dropping those moves.

      The end is so, sooooooooooooooo bad. I can't believe that's what they went with. It seems like an alternate ending you'd watch and then think...Thank God they didn't go with that piece of shit.

  5. Good review M. Yeah, this one got me a bit shaken-up too. Wasn't perfect and sure as hell got a little too goofy for its own good by the end, but still a better horror movie than most of the crap I usually see thrown out there.

    1. While I'm certainly with you that a lot of horror stuff out there is crap, I'm not sure that makes Mama any better, know what I mean?