Monday, 30 November 2015

Mama - More Than Just a Bump in the Night - #MonsterMondays 27

Good day and welcome to my blog on the Wintery Monday. Today I have chosen a ghostly monster to tingle all our spines. I hope you enjoy Monster Monday 27.

Mama - More Than Just a Bump in the Night

So Mama is the kind of horror film I love. It doesn't just come out and show us the monster. Taking a leaf out of Asian horror films this is all glimpses and moments that make us jump for a good percentage of the film rather than complete in our faces monsterness. This I think makes the perfect monster: the anticipation.

The plot of the film is simple, two girls disappear in the wilderness, abandoned by their father in a forest cabin. Five years later they are found again, both with deep psychological trauma. The psychologists think the person they refer to as Mama is a construction of their imaginations, but when the girls move in with their uncle and aunt it soon becomes clear something else has come with them.

Mama is scary. She clearly wants to protect the girls, but she also sees them as hers and everyone else they become attached to is the enemy. She is an incredibly dangerous entity with the ability to affect the physical world in ways no human could. It is her who has kept the girls safe and alive, but it also her who threatens their safety as they are brought to live with their relatives.

One of the very good decisions the film makers made, is that Mama is played by a real person and then animated over the top. This makes her scarily real, even as she distorts thanks to the special effects.

She is a tragic monster. Separated forever from her own child she has taken the two girls as a substitute and cannot bear to let them go. Her madness is all but complete as she all but re-enacts the tragedy of her mortal life with the children she has been protecting. She is terrifying and yet understandable, a dichotomy of a combination that makes her in parts sympathetic and utterly irredeemable.

Mama is a mother's love twisted into obsession and madness and yet she tugs the heartstrings too.

There is something to be said for monsters that are just monsters, out and out bad, but monsters with layers are so very interesting. Mama definitely has layers.

If you are interested in seeing Mama with Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau it is available from Amazon UK and US. Well worth a watch.

What/who is your favourite fictional ghostly monster?

Authors - win a month's stay in a castle for NaNoWriMo 2016 via Derek Murphy (book designer and author).

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