Apparently Jessica Chastain's the
only one who really matters here.
"A mother's love is forever."

Hello folks, welcome to Thursday at The Tagline! As promised, I got out to the theater and saw Mama, directed by NOT Guillermo Del Toro (he is just the executive producer big whoop), who brought us other movies that were weird and frightening, such as Pan's Labyrinth. This movie was directed by Andres Muschietti who I have no idea who he is, but he directed this movie and not Guillermo Del Toro, and deserves the credit. Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time, a guy played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (hereafter referred to as Jaime Lannister, who he portrays in Game of Thrones) decided that he would kill his wife, and then drive his two very young daughters off a cliff in the snow, wander through the woods, find a creepy old cabin, and then kill them there. Alas, before he could make his grab for dad of the year award A nightmare specter murders him, but we can't get a good look because we see this through the eyes of the older daughter Victoria, who has lost her glasses. I was frankly relieved that he was savagely murdered by some vengeful monster-spirit, because I certainly did not want to watch a bullet emerge from the face of a dead 4 year old. The movie is PG-13, so I was pretty sure that wasn't going to happen, but still I was fearful. Anyway, so the girls are stuck in a cabin now, with this... thing, and its five years later before they are found, by some grizzled old guys on behalf of the girls' uncle, Jaime Lannister 2 (he is dead-dad's twin brother). Jaime Lannister 2 takes custody of the girls, despite the protestation of their maternal aunt. Along with Jaime2 is his girlfriend Annabelle (Jessica Chastain the only person important enough to appear on the poster apparently) who, who is presented to us as a really lame rocker lady with tattoos who plays bass for a band I imagine is called like V.J. Powerhouse or Vagiantess or something. The point is, they seem really lame. Under really shady, deeply unethical circumstances, Jaime2 and Annabelle are given a big house to live in with the girls by their psychiatrist who is obviously using them, to try and draw out a horrible crazy momghost. As you might imagine, this doesn't end great.

I'm glad my mom doesn't look like this.
The movie spends great amounts of energy scaring the pants off of you with a variety of methods. Children moving like creepy crawly gollum monsters on all fours for instance. That isn't normal, and I wish they weren't doing that towards the screen rapidly. I personally think that the ghost mom/grudge monster was excessive, the movie probably could have just been about two feral children from the woods, who scrabble around the house on all fours late at night, and in dark flickering-lit rooms, appearing suddenly, watching people while they sleep, and so on. Alas, instead the predations of small frightening children are broken up by the predations of a rage-filled psychiatric case ghost, oozing out of a blackened wound in the walls, leaving trails of black moths behind her, swiffering the floor with her gross hair, and just generally jumping out and being terrifying. Annabelle occupies the majority of this horror show, poor Jaime2 gets thrown down a flight of stairs pretty early on, and proves thoroughly useless for most of the movie.

Or a band like, Andover Overdrive. Glendale Suicide. Something.
Some of the plot is kind of contrived, but I forgive it because there are reasons, and its trying to set up some real scares, rather than just splattering people's eyeballs all over the linoleum. The doctor for instance, has a super convenient and huge house that he just gives to Annabelle and Jaime2. That seems a little bit different than I remember state psychiatric budgets. Also he violates every ethical principle or law in existence, in the pursuit of a ghost or some other paranormal goal that they never really explain. So that's a thing. Despite that, this movie did seriously scare me several times. There were some cheap jump scares that kind of annoyed me, but I'm willing to let it go. I GUESS!

This is exactly how I felt for most of the movie.
The thing that really impressed me here? Well I really didn't like Annabelle at the beginning of this movie, but by about an hour in I was very fearful that she was going to die, because I wanted her to live, because she was just trying so hard to make this situation work, even though it really wasn't her problem at all. So good for you Annabelle, I'm proud of you marching down this suicide lane for purely altruistic reasons. Also I'm not sure what the angle was, but her boobs were on prominent display for most of the movie, maybe in an attempt to dull the terror I was experiencing. It... sort of worked actually. Thanks Andres.

I'm glad to see that despite having a plot, showing the monster, not being full of blood and profanity, and having a plot again, that critics and audiences still liked this movie. It opened at 1st, and continues to do well in the box office. Thank goodness that every now and then a good horror movie comes out, and people actually like it. I'll see you this weekend, with another post, so stay tuned!

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