Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lousy Movie

I went to see the new horror film MAMA last night.

It was an awful movie.

The problems of the film were many and the movie was infected through and through with poor concepts, bad execution, and lousy writing.

First and foremost it borrowed too heavily from earlier and much more effectively produced films. The influence of both THE GRUDGE and the execrable remake THE WOMAN IN BLACK are painfully evident as the film unfolds. In addition, aside from the focus of the movie: two abandoned children--the movie doesn't have any really sympathetic characters.

What it does have is a marginally neat monster, which borrows far too heavily from the Japanese import, THE GRUDGE. There's not a whole lot of difference between the vengeful ghost from that movie and the oh-so-similar ghost in this one. As you watch the movie, that sameness and lack of originality dog your thoughts constantly. Whenever there's a creepy scene or a patented cinematic surprise moment, your only thought is: Oh. I saw that used in THE GRUDGE.

Yeah, yeah. Just like THE GRUDGE.

The screenplay was also extremely weak. It opens with a dramatic setup leading to a contrived plot development that descends into the-writer-pulled-the-line-out-of-his-ass story. Nothing makes any real sense. Characters say and do things that are against type, against logic, against reason. Time and again the story depends completely on wild coincidence, especially concerning the revelations of an otherwise completely throwaway character encountered in two scenes and never heard from again--her reason for being is obviously to insert a piece into a very poorly rendered puzzle.

All in all, I consider the movie to have been a complete waste of my time. There are some cool computer-generated graphics with the monster, but other than that, it's a film I could have done without having seen.

Oh, well. You never know.

This is the short (introduced by the movie's executive producer, Guillermo del Toro) that got the attention of the studios and allowed the film to go forward. It's an excellent little piece and could have spawned a decent film. Alas.


MarkGelbart said...

Last Friday, I watched the Chernobyl Diaries.

It was pretty good for what it was--a cheap horror flick.

I'd like to live in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone--the greatest wildlife refuge on earth.

James Robert Smith said...

Which accidental wilderness area is larger (in square kilometers): Chernobyl exclusion zone, or the DMZ between the Koreas?