By Shannon Luster | Staff Writer
Hold onto something because here comes “Mama!”
This horror movie soared to number one in the box-office and raked in $28.4 million during its opening weekend, according to the IMDb Charts.
The talented cast includes Jessica Chastain as the slow-to-warm Annabel and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as the easy-going Lucas.
The feature length movie, “Mama,” is based upon a 2008 short film with the same name.
Both the short and the feature were directed by Andres Muschietti.
The executive producer for the movie is famed producer, director and writer Guillermo Del Toro.
A movie with the name Del Toro, the master of horror, attached to it is bound to deliver chills, thrills, and often screams that bounce off the theater walls.
That was my experience while watching “Mama.”
The movie begins with two girls, Victoria and Lilly, who have seemingly been alone in an isolated cabin for five years.
Two hunters stumble upon the girls who act like wild animals and bring them to live with their uncle, Lucas and his girlfriend, Annabel.
But Mama, comes along, haunting Lucas and Annabel’s house.
The movie slowly builds with suspense, keeping the audience guessing what lies awaiting inside the closet or behind the door.
The writers of “Mama” also know the perfect time to end a scene and begin another which builds up the suspense among the story line.
For instance, a woman shows a box containing the wrong done to Mama, the scene cuts before we can see what’s inside.
Mama also sneaks up from behind Annabel in a bedroom, but the scene ends before we can see if Mama harms Annabel.
There are, however, some unrealistic moments.
While in the beginning both girls behave like wild animals yet as the movie goes on they adapt too quickly to their new surroundings, acting rather normal in just nine weeks.
Even more unrealistic is when Lucas and Annabel win custody of the girls, although both don’t have children or a stable income.
Regardless, these unrealistic moments don’t spoil the horror movie.
A strong point for the movie is its namesake: the character, Mama.
She’s a frightening creature as well as surprisingly multidimensional.
Mama shows tenderness towards her adopted daughters, Victoria and Lilly.
She sings to them, plays with them and protects them from what she thinks of as threats.
But there is a dark side to Mama.
Some of the most frightening moments occur when Mama gets mad, especially towards the girls.
There are also scary moments like the otherworldly visions that both Annabel and Lucas experience.
Lucas, meanwhile, is visited by another ghost who carries a cryptic message that he, in turn, must decode.
I, for one, would be game for round two.
“Mama” is worth the price of admission.