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“Mama,” Like Jekyll and Hyde

Mama is a movie that, like its antagonist, suffers from an identity crisis. The 100-minute film struggles to establish its purpose. Is it a horror film or a drama?

The movie is about two young sisters abandoned for five years and raised by a ghost-like figure, “Mama,” only to be found by their uncle and his girlfriend, who work to give them a normal life until it is discovered that Mama followed them to their new home and is very protective of her “daughters.”

One thing separating this movie from many other scary films is its character development. Unlike some thrillers, Mama does not waste time with the deaths of many minor characters. The few people in the film each have a purpose, and it is made obvious to viewers how they should feel about each character. From the slimy, selfish doctor to the adorable and misguided daughters, viewers will invest in each of the characters because there are so few.

This movie’s deep characters and detailed exploration of mother-daughter relationships will leave viewers wondering if this film is not a drama. But the easily anticipated dispersed chilling scenes of two beast-like kids after five years of abandonment or Mama seeping through the walls and chasing the protagonist down a hall lend to the movie’s “horror/thriller” classification.

Mama may have been a better film if it had not tried so hard to throw in seemingly random fearsome and horrifying scenes, which seemed to take away from the plot, not add to it, and the movie would have had a much more sufficient conclusion if its writers had not tried to hard to conform to the “thriller” genre. But despite its clashing personalities, Mama is worth seeing if only for its brave and touching characters.

Mama Trailer:

Written by Kendall Silwonuk’15


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