Late Night Mama
A late night spent watching the ghost story Mama on Dvd. It caught my attention because Guillermo Del Toro is attached to it and so is the actor Javier Botet who gets to 'animate' the character of the films title with his own body. There is a lot of Cgi in the 100 minutes of screen time but there is also a lot of physical effects. It's in the physical side where the genuine creepiness lies for me, Botet's angular and distorted twitching limbs and the clever use of shadows could have carried the story for me without having to fall back on what are now digital stereotypes. Crawling inky black veins on walls and bodies, floating shroud wrapped wraiths have all been done many times before, mostly in the Harry Potter movies. Removing glasses from a small child and seeing the blurred haunting figure from that point of view was scary as hell. There's a funny legs dangling from the ceiling shot that is so simple it's magic. Mama coveting 'her' children 'till the bitter end see's the ghost strike a pose that looks like a lone warrior about to engage an entire army. Which basically is the Mother's Love will win/destroy the world of her child theme throughout. It's a simple premiss but then the film does start with 'Once Upon A Time...'
As a side note Kingslayer Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is also in the film and plays his own brother Lucas/Jeffrey which for me created a bit of confusion and is never really explained or if it was, I missed it gone 1am in the morning.