Directed by: Andrés Muschietti
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier
The trailer for this movie, combined with the gratuitous use of Guillermo del Toro’s name, made me find this film and watch it. By the way, just because a recognized name has an executive producer credit, it doesn’t mean anything. Literally nothing. This is an important lesson to learn when watching movies that I apparently know, yet still don’t heed. God damn I’m an idiot.
Two little girls are found living in a spooky cabin in the woods and are taken in by their uncle and his aggressively anti-child girlfriend to rehabilitate them from growing up wild. Of course, the kids say they were raised by a ghostly “imaginary” friend named Mama, and also of course, the ghost of this Mama haunts the house and does barely noticeable things that aren’t actually creepy if you didn’t have people overreacting to them. The foster parents realize there’s a real ghost, and they end up having to fight for ownership of the kids with it on a cliff, which is a pretty strange place for a final confrontation, and also they figured out the entire mystery in a dream. I’m done.
Most of this film was in definite B-movie territory for a horror film, where it’s kinda The Grudge-like, but not to the point where you ever are actually surprised or frightened. It’s a lot of the “a thing jumps out at you and ahhhh scary” type of horror, with no real substance to it. At no point do you ever actually worry about the safety of the kids or anyone else involved, and the monster just isn’t all that scary. That combined with the ending being really, really lame and smacking heavily of a feel that they just needed the damn thing to be over with, I can’t really say that I’d recommend this film.