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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Tag Archives: Javier Botet

Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Creepy dolls? Eh. I’ve seen worse.

Sam (Anthony LaPaglia) and Esther Mullins (Miranda Otto), used to be the happiest couple around. He, a toy-maker, her, just a lovely housewife, with the whole community behind their backs. Then, tragedy struck and all of a sudden, they pushed away the outside world. However, they are still kind enough to let a nun (Stephanie Sigman) and a couple of orphan girls to stay in their big old house for a certain amount of time, so long as they follow a bit of rules. The main one: Don’t go into Esther’s room. Do you think these kids listen? Hell no! This obviously starts a lot of bad stuff, including the constant appearance of an even freakier doll named Annabelle, who the girls all seem entranced by, but don’t know exactly why. Is it a demon? A prank? Or just their little imaginations running wild?

“Let me have a decent meal in peace!” – Annabelle

The first Annabelle movie was, in all honesty, a piece of crap. It was slow, boring, and felt like it had really know story, was written over a weekend, and given all sorts of money for the sole sake of tying up with this horror-universe that the Conjuring practically created. That’s why a sequel, in my eyes, just didn’t sound all that enticing.

Then Lights Out director David Sandberg showed up and suddenly, I was color interested, and with good reason.

For one, Sandberg knows how to shoot this kind of horror; the camera tilts and constant swoops, may be a bit nauseating, but they help what could have been a very easy and tame horror flick, hit a lot harder. We’re always left in the dark with what’s going to happen next and rather than taking its good old time, Sandberg starts off from the flood-gates and keeps on going. In a way, he keeps the horror fun, if not all that terrifying.

Yup. Crosses save the day.

Which is to say that Annabelle: Creation is a much more “fun” horror movie, than actually a “scary” one, and that seems to be the case with me and most horror movies out there nowadays. It isn’t that I can’t get scared, or even jump a little bit during horror movies, it’s more that I can’t quite get scared by the ghosts, ghouls, and creatures that lurk somewhere in the dark. My thought is that the real world is scary enough, with an even more threat to my life, so how are these evil characters from a movie supposed to genuinely scare me even more?

Well, they don’t. That’s why when I go to a horror movie, it’s just for some fun. If the scares happen, then so be it.

With Annabelle: Creation, the scares never quite came for me, but that doesn’t mean Sandberg doesn’t at least try his best. You can tell that he’s sort of working with a relatively weak and unoriginal script, as well as part of a franchise that’s being used to just set everything else up, but he makes it all work by just showing us a knack for telling horror stories that may not always be terrifying, but know how to have a good time.

And in today’s day and age, I think we all need a little bit of that. Right, people?

Consensus: While maybe not entirely frightening, Annabelle: Creation is still, heads, shoulders, knees, and toes above its predecessor in terms of quality and overall entertainment-value. Too bad it feels so damn corporate.

6 / 10

“Ready when you are.” – Annabelle

Photos Courtesy of: Indiewire

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It (2017)

Honestly, real-life creepy clowns are creepier.

Derry, Maine is just like any other small-town in America. Quiet, quaint, and yes, quite a lovely little place. But look a little bit deeper, and there’s some true darkness lying underneath. And said darkness begins to show up more and more when kids randomly start disappearing left and right, without any signs of how, why, and where they may even be. Some kids believe it’s just kids being kids and getting lost somewhere in the woods, but for a select-few of other kids, they think it’s the one, the only, the infamous, and the incredibly dangerous Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), who lurks somewhere in the sewers, luring little children with his evil, magical powers. And the few kids who do see Pennywise, are quite screwed-up and don’t really know what to do with it, mostly because they’re too busy figuring out their own lives. For instance, there’s Bill, (Jaeden Lieberher), who has a stuttering problem; Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor), the chubby kid who’s also new to town; Beverly (Sophia Lillis), a gal who’s daddy may have a serious problem touching her; Richie (Finn Wolfhard), who enjoys making fun of every situation; Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer), who’s a germophobe, but maybe because his mom only tells him he is; Mike (Chosen Jacobs), who seems to be the only black kid in town and is constantly bullied for it; and Stanley (Wyatt Oleff), who’s Jewish faith continues to guide him in his life. Together, they’ll try to stop Pennywise, once and for all.

Nothing bad’s ever on a old-school Super 8 flick.

The reason why It works so well beyond many other Stephen King adaptations is because it hints at something truer, something meaner, and something darker than just what we see. See, in It, this new adaptation, while Pennywise is no doubt the true evil and scary-being here, it’s really other elements like rape, incest, murder, racism, and even time itself that seem to be the true evils. Like mostly all of King’s work, It shows us that the truest evils aren’t just ghouls an ghosts, but more or less, life and how it can be ruined by just some of the most dangerous and disturbing people imaginable.

But yeah, also killer clowns.

Still though, what works about It is that it’s not afraid to go the extra distance to get as dark and as disturbing as it wants. Director Andy Muschietti seems to know that the key-element to making material like this is not holding back and going as far as one can go with a hard-R rating. Meaning, we get a lot of blood, gore, cursing, nudity (sort of), and oh yeah, kids in peril. In fact, there’s so many moments of kids in peril here that it literally felt like another 80’s flick (and it probably wasn’t helping that one of the kids from Stranger Things is also here).

But it all actually works. As much as the movie wants to rely on the good old nostalgia of the small-towns from the 80’s, it also wants to terrify the hell out of us and with Pennywise, and with practically everything else Muschietti throws at us, it gets the job done. Granted, a lot of it can tend to be a bit over-bearing, obvious, and oh yeah, predictable, but for a horror flick that’s nearly two-hours-and-15-minutes and not feeling like a second of it, it’s nice to have around. It helps that the movie’s constantly tense and trying out new ways to creep us out, but yeah, the movie works where most horror movies nowadays don’t.

It gets the scares right, the characters right, and above all else, the villain right.

Sure he’s fine. Wherever he may be….

And as Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård is pretty scary. While Tim Curry’s original portrayal will forever stand the test of time, his take was a bit different; whereas Curry’s was far more campy and over-the-top, for comedic-effect, Skarsgård’s is meant to be more dangerous and absolutely unimaginable. He’s not supposed to show up watering the plants, or cracking dumb puns, but instead, biting the arms off of five-year-old children (which is something he does in the first ten minutes). It’s a solid portrayal that, depending on where this franchise goes, will be interesting to see how it all changes.

Same goes for the rest of the cast who, for now, are all very good at what they do. Sure, no one really stands out from the rest of the crowd, considering that they’ve all got a great deal of development and personality to help them get by, but the fact that they all were discernible from one another and had something going on in their lives, worked and mattered. The movie actually goes out of its way to show us more to these kids than just a bunch of wise-cracks about mullets and Molly Ringwald – like you or I were at their age, they’re vulnerable, scared, and absolutely terrified. You could say of the creepy clown that seems to be following them everywhere they go, but also of growing up and whatever other depravities the future holds out for them.

And yeah, I look forward to seeing the next part of their lives’ journeys. Because, of course, there’s going to be more of this. Don’t be naive.

Just give in and float away.

Consensus: With the unrelenting willingness to go to deep, dark places that most horror movies are afraid to even step near, the latest re-imagining of It works because it doesn’t forget to remain faithful to the source material, but to also the smart, solid, and somewhat terrifying scares that are much needed.

8 / 10

If he’s got candy, I’m interested.

Photos Courtesy of: Aceshowbiz

The Mummy (2017)

Damn. Where was Brendan Fraser when we needed him?

Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) is a soldier in the United States Army who, when he’s not taking down terrorists and saving the country, is going around foreign countries, stealing ancient artifacts, and selling them on the black market for way more than is ever predicted. However, he discovers something that maybe even he may not be able to get away from: A tomb containing, get this, a mummy. Turns out, the mummy (Sofia Boutella) is an old princess who was supposed to be Queen, only to then have been sabotoged, killed and, of course, mummified. Now, she’s out of her tomb and needs something to latch onto, regardless of what it is. So, of course, she latches onto Nick and desires every part of him, hoping that she can, sooner than later, become an evil, but much more powerful spirit than ever before. Nick doesn’t like this, so, with the help of a world-renowned archaeologist Jenny (Annabelle Wallis), who Nick has had relations with in the past, he hopes to not only be rid of this evil, but stop it once and for all, so that no one else in the world can be attacked by such an evil.

Wow. Scientology can do all sorts of tricks to 54-year-old-men’s bodies.

The Mummy is an odd movie in that it’s clearly and most obviously setting-up a franchise, with future, money-grabbing movies to come down the line, but by the same token, also doesn’t feel like it’s leaving a whole lot of room for places this story can go. For instance, we get a glimpse of Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll, who turns crazy and nuts, only to then not moments later, so what’s there to be of him in the future? Is he getting his own movie where he can do what he already did for us? Not to mention the mummy, too, who clearly has her story all laid-out for us, so as to not give us any grey-areas on the matter whatsoever.

So you’d think her story would be done, right?

Well, oddly enough, no. The movie still sets her story up as if there’s something monumental that we just have to wait around for and see. Then, of course, there’s this issue of Tom Cruise who, even at this stage in his career, seems like he may be slumming it a bit for something like the Mummy, where even his charm and wit can’t be the center of attention, but a non-stop punchline just in case for when things get too serious and scary. But yeah, even his story is set-up to continue on and on, but again, his story seems done and, yeah, it’s Tom Cruise, so is he really going to sign on to another one of these when he could just stay at home and collect Mission Impossible money for the rest of his days?

Probably not, but hey, the Mummy is still having fun setting itself up for further adventures down the road. And this is obviously a problem, because it takes away from what could have already been a pretty fun, light and silly romp. Granted, we didn’t really need a reboot of the Mummy, but hey, we got it and if this is the best that they could do, then yeah, it feels like maybe, just maybe, Brendan Fraser’s franchise shouldn’t have even be messed with in the first place.

Literally pre-gaming for Ozzfest already.

Cause it’s not like the Mummy is as awful as everyone is making it out to be; it’s occasionally fun, charming and yes, a little goofy, but it can occasionally come together and be worth watching. It’s honestly all of the CGI, story-strands, set-ups, and mythological elements that don’t quite work and yeah, even get in the way of the spirit of this movie, that can be found if you look deep and hard enough. Granted, it’s not easy to like a movie like the Mummy, especially when it does seem as if it’s trying too hard to please everyone who watches it, but it can be a bit enjoyable, if you can get past all of these other issues that seem to constantly be getting in the way.

But yeah, that can be a pretty difficult task, so it’s understandable if it doesn’t quite work out for you, like it did for me.

I’m just a weird guy who takes it easy on these over-budgeted, glossy, and expensive summer blockbusters that don’t know how to settle themselves down and can, occasionally, become total messes. But sometimes, messes can be fun. They can also be dull, too, which the Mummy can be, when it forgets to let itself be some bit of fun.

Some bit, unfortunately. But there is a bit.

Consensus: Way too much story and set-up for very little reason, the Mummy can be occasionally fun and entertaining, but also feels like it’s a step-down for everyone involved, especially a randomly cast Cruise.

5 / 10

Uh oh. Chris Martin may have an issue here.

Photos Courtesy of: IndieWire

The Conjuring 2 (2016)

Come on, ghosts! Let’s try and play nice now, ya hear!

With all of the hype and infamy surrounding the Amityville horrors, paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) have become something of overnight celebrities. Everyone wants to know more about them, but they also want to question them more and figure out if everything that they say, or do with ghosts is actually real, or all just a put-on. For this reason alone, Ed and Lorraine decide to take something of a sabbatical from the paranormal-busting world and just focus on getting back to reality, where they can continue to raise their family in a carefree, quiet environment. However, when they hear about a family being terrorized somewhere in England, the Warrens can’t help but feel inspired for one more battle against the dead. This time, though, they may have met their match. And with Lorraine losing her touch with reality and starting to battle more and more with the dead and dark spirits that have been haunting since she started seeing them, it’s all coming to head and this may be the most dangerous mission they’ve had to work with yet.

Oh, those silly, little children. Always seeing dead people.

Oh, those silly, little children. Always seeing dead people.

The first Conjuring, if anything, was a fun horror movie. While a lot of people shrieked, screamed, hooted and hollered during it, the movie, at least from my point-of-view, wasn’t all that scary; sure, it had some jumps here and there, but it seemed like the movie was less about the jumps and more about the tension, the suspense and the thrill of waiting to be scared and actually having it happen. James Wan is a smart director in that he doesn’t just throw everything at us, altogether and at once – he takes time to build his pieces, so that we get a clear picture of what we’re heading into, only to then pull the rug from underneath us and have us not knowing just what the hell to expect next.

That’s why, underneath it all, the first Conjuring was a fun movie. It wasn’t great and it, for me at least, wasn’t this terrifying experience that made me go home scared of turning the lights off when I went to bed. It was a normal horror movie in that it had a simple premise, a simple ghost, and simple characters, without trying to go any further on any of that; it had a ghost who needed to be taken out of a house and well, that’s exactly what happened.

But the only reason why I bring so much of this up is because the Conjuring 2 is a step-up from the original and shows that James Wan isn’t just trying to make the same movie, over and over again.

Sure, he has the scares, the jumps, the spooks, and the ghosts on full-display here, but once again, there’s more to it than just that. In making it seem like the almost indestructible Warrens are up against the grain here, Wan has made sure that this ghost is as evil and maniacal as you can get. In fact, I’d say that the first hour of the movie is dedicated solely to this family getting slowly tormented by this spirit who, for lack of a better word, just wants people out of “his house”. Why? Well, the movie goes into a little bit of that, too, but it doesn’t always matter, because the scares are there and we know that when the Warrens come around, everything’s going to be all fine and dandy, right?

Well, no. Not really.

Wan makes the Conjuring 2 out to be a do-or-die experience where anything could go wrong, at any second, and the unpredictable nature of the spirit takes over the story and has us hoping for the best, but also expecting the worst. After all, it’s a horror movie, so obviously, bad stuff has to happen to good people, regardless of whether we want it to, or not. Wan knows this, which is why he actually allows for there to be character-development with all of the characters, not just the Warren’s.

Because the family getting terrorized by this spirit is, after all, a middle-to-low class family just getting by, with a husband who is out and about, living a different life with a neighbor, a daughter who sees things in her sleep, and a boy who has a stuttering problem, we really sympathize with them. We aren’t doing it because, oh yeah, ghosts suck and all of that, but because do they really deserve this? Obviously, no family in their right mind deserves it, but Wan really does make us ache for these characters and it’s why we really want to see the Warrens show up and, essentially, save the day.

Pretty.

Van Gogh would be proud.

But once again, Wan is a smart enough director to know that not everything can be so simple and laid-out, even in a horror movie like this. Surprisingly, there’s more to the relationship between Ed and Lorraine than the first movie ever touched on and through this second installment, Wan shows us that they really are each other’s world and without the other, they’d be nothing in this life, or the next. It’s actually kind of sweet and makes these two characters appear less as just “religious ghostbusters”, and more as a married-couple who want to help those around them, while also trying to make sure that they still come home to one another, alive, well, and happy to go on another day on solid ground.

And really, that’s why the Conjuring 2 is better than the first.

Wan seems like he’s more interested in going darker and deeper into this story than ever before and not just leaving everything on the surface-level. The movie does run a tad too long, however, a lot of the reason why it’s over two hours, is because there is more time dedicated to character-development, as well as more opportunities for Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga to work with material that is, fine at best, but still gives them something to do, rather than just yell at goofy-looking spirits.

In fact, yeah, let’s try and work on those spirits next time, okay VFX team?

Cool.

Consensus: By adding an extra level of depth and emotion to the proceedings, the Conjuring 2 packs more of an emotional wallop to go along with all of the effective jumps and scares.

8 / 10

Does she not have any posters?

Does she not have any posters?

Photos Courtesy of: Indiewire

Crimson Peak (2015)

Sisters always know best.

Young author Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) is destroyed by the news of her father’s death. So much so, that she’s left without anyone to really care for her and take over her day-to-day doings. That’s when the strapping young lad from England known as Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), comes around and sweeps her off of her feet. While Edith is initially hesitant to hook up with Sharpe, she eventually gives in and starts to see him for all that he is. While he is maybe too tied and dedicated to his older sister, Lady Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain), she soon realizes that it’s just because they have an inseparable bond that cannot be tied or broken. But Edith begins to get more curious about the history that the Sharpe relatives have and, in ways she least expected to, finds out certain things that are quite shady and surprising. Add on the fact that she seems to be constantly followed around by a creepy-looking witch, Edith has a lot to be worried about. But it’s ultimately up to her to figure out whether or not she’s going to make it out this situation, knowing everything she needs to in order to stay alive.

Oh, Mia. Lighten up already!

Oh, Mia. Lighten up already!

Like I’ve said before, Guillermo del Toro is not someone I love. While I do appreciate the fact that he puts a fine amount of thought into his pieces, overall, they tend to feel as if they’re so reliant on how beautiful they look, that when it comes to actually giving an effective story, he sort of chucks it all out the window. While he’s definitely interested in keeping his audiences compelled by every move he makes, he also doesn’t forget that he’s got a lot of pretty things to show-off for the whole world to see and be amazed by. While that’s worked for del Toro before in much better, well-told movies, Crimson Peak pales in comparison because there really isn’t much to the story other than just, “Yeah. Old-looking, English mansions can be spooky”.

And that about sums up the movie.

Although, to be fair, Crimson Peak isn’t without its strengths that make it a worthy affair to sit through, even when it seems to be treading water so much, that you wonder if it even had a story to begin with. As expected, it’s a very pretty, albeit scary-looking film. To say that the large, but old-timey mansion is its own character in the movie, is a total cliché; however, in this movie’s case, it’s the actual truth. As soon as Edith and the Sharpe relatives end up in this manor, the movie all of a sudden becomes more of a haunted house-feature that appreciates how dark the halls are, and how most people can’t tell what’s making that noise so late in the night. Del Toro loves to freak his audiences out and while the movie may not be all that scary, it still keeps you interested in what the mystery at the dead-center of the flick may be. Even if the actual reveal itself doesn’t deliver much on the promise, it still will keep you on-edge for a good portion.

Then again, this movie also got a huge problem in that it’s so slow and meandering, it doesn’t seem as if it’s going anywhere, anytime soon. While it’s fine that del Toro tends to take his time with his stories, so that he can develop characters, as well as their relationships with one another, so to create a more powerful effect when all goes South in the latter-portions, here, it seems like he’s taking too much time to get anywhere at all. Though it’s obvious he’s setting the movie up for a big, awfully creepy reveal at the end, the time it takes to hint at that, to when it actually gets there, is so long apart, that they almost feel like sequels to one another.

This wouldn’t be such a problem, either, had the characters been all that interesting to watch and see be fleshed-out, but they too feel stiff and boring.

Is it weird that they supposedly dated in real life?

Is it weird that they supposedly dated in real life?

Mia Wasikowska’s Edith may seems like the different kind of female protagonist we get in these kinds of movies, but after awhile, she just seems to fall back asleep and not really build this character. Tom Hiddleston is creepy as Thomas for a good portion of the movie, but because del Toro hints at something more complex and sweet about him, there’s a feeling of expecting more and we don’t really get it. And also, Charlie Hunnam shows up as one of Edith’s childhood friends from back home and feels like he just showed-up on the set, not just because he could, but almost as a favor to del Toro (they worked together in Pacific Rim).

The only one out the cast who seems to be enjoying the most of their time here is Jessica Chastain, in a surprisingly very campy, over-the-top performance. In the past few years since she’s become a big name, Chastain has been known to play these very serious, overly-dramatic characters that never seem to crack a smile, let alone know what an actual smile is; that’s not to say she isn’t a good actor in these kinds of roles, it’s just that it feels like she’s too stern and straight-faced, that it’s hard to imagine that she’s get anything resembling a personality deep in there. But as Lucille, she gets a chance to show just how wild and weird she can be, and can sometimes even elevate the movie to her standards. While it’s nice to see del Toro write a strong female character, it’s also nice to see him write one that isn’t trying too hard to be the heart and soul of the story – mostly, Lucille is the villain of the story and she’s a hard one to turn away from.

Which is, yes, a problem when she’s more interesting to watch than your protagonist.

Consensus: Crimson Peak may boast scary, gothic-y visuals, del Toro’s story never seems to take-off to the point of where it’s ultimately engaging or tense to watch play-out.

5.5 / 10

Turn away now!

Turn away now!

Photo’s Credit to: IMDB, AceShowbiz

Mama (2013)

A mother’s love can be just so damn smothering sometimes, am I right fellow young adolescent males?

After the Stock Market crashes, Jeffrey (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) kills his wife and takes his two daughters somewhere unexplained to us. However, as he’s driving around in the mountains with the kiddies in the back, his car, literally, takes a sharp turn for the worse and lands the three in a remote part of the snow-infested woods. And then, lo and behold, Jeffrey finds a remote cabin these woods and decides that it’s time to not only end his life, but his kids’ lives as well. Just as he’s about to off his kids, he is all of a sudden snatched up and killed by something very, very mysterious that the girls are originally scared by, but in a strange way, embrace. Fast forward five years later, and we have Jeffrey’s identical twin brother Lucas (still played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) searching for these girls as if they were his own. Just as Lucas is about to give all sorts of hope and call it quits on the search parties, something miraculous happens: THE GIRLS ARE FOUND!! They’re pretty messed-up in the head, but being stranded, all alone, and left to fend for yourselves for a whole five years will do that to ya, so Lucas decides to take them in and raise them in a normal family they deserve. Two problems though: 1.) Lucas gal-pal (Jessica Chastain) doesn’t really take kindly to children, and 2.) that very, very mysterious being that snatched up and killed his brother all of these years before, is somehow still with those girls, AND IN THAT HOUSE!!

Save paper! Color the walls!

Save paper! Color the walls!

Okay, so yeah, maybe I went a bit overboard with that plot-synopsis, but regardless, you get the drift of this movie: Creepy girls get adopted, creepy girls start doing creepy things, innocent people get thrown into the mix, doors start closing and opening unexpectedly, heads start flying, etc., etc. You’ve all seen it done a million times before, and trust me, Mama is no exception to the rule. It’s essentially a haunted house movie where kids act strange, have an “imaginary friend”, and better yet, feature characters that have never, ever dealt with this type of paranormal activity in their lives before, EVER. Lucky for us though, none of them have the ability to work a hand-held camera (from what we know of), and even luckier for us, the movie ain’t all that bad, especially if you take into consideration just how truly lame and unoriginal the horror genre has gotten as of late.

So yeah, what makes a horror movie a good horror movie, is the scares, which this movie has plenty of because it focuses on its dark atmosphere and mood. For once, I felt like I was watching a horror movie where not only did the scares feel deserved, but they continued to have me expecting the most conventional thing to happen, and then somewhat surprise me giving me something new in front of my face. Doesn’t always happen, and once our ghost of the two-hours shows up more than a handful of times by the end, it feels like a jumping-of-the-shark, but nonetheless, the movie caught me off-guard more times than I expected. And that’s coming from somebody who isn’t the biggest horror fan, and from somebody who knows what to expect, when, and how when it comes to a horror movie. Don’t get me wrong, I can still have fun with a horror movie, but you have to make me feel like it’s worth my time and effort.

This was one of those times, and that’s partially credited to the fact that the movie also has characters worth caring about and investing your emotions in. For the most part, anyway.

Perhaps the oddest selling-point behind this movie that probably worked wonders for it back in late-January when it first came out (aka, the same time around when Chastain was up for an Oscar), was that she suddenly went all goth for this role. She has the black hair, the arm-tats, the extraneous amount of eye-liner, and heck, even plays bass in a pseudo-punk rock band. So basically, she’s supposed to be this wholesome, cutie pie, dressed down and all dolled up to look like this anarchistic bad ass that doesn’t like kids and never, ever wants to get preggo. In essence, she’s the woman of my dreams, minus all of the black make-up and hair. That I can do without.

"Too method", I guess?

“Too method”, I guess?

Appearances aside, Chastain is still very good as Annabel because even though she is a bad ass that doesn’t give a flying hoot about having kids, or better yet, raising them, she still makes for a sympathetic character because her transition from “arms-length adoptive mother, to loving and caring adoptive mother”, feels real and honest, even if her main competition for these girls’ whole heart, love, and affection is the ghost of a woman who died almost hundreds and hundreds of years ago. But hey, maybe that’s why she’s one of the most exciting and promising faces we have out there working today! We need an actress like her to take material that’s conventional and by-the-numbers, and find some emotion behind it all that goes deeper than the surface-level. More of her will definitely do us all good. You can count on that fact.

And Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ain’t so bad either as her more endearing boyfriend, Lucas, but he gets knocked out of the game about half-way through due to a coma, which leaves us plenty of time to care for Annabel, as well as these little girls, Victoria and Lilly. Speaking of these girls, both Megan Charpentie and Isabelle Nélisse do some solid jobs with what they had to do, which didn’t look easy since a lot of it consisted of being creepy, using their eyes to convey emotion, and just being kids, while also not being over-bearing and annoying like most kids in movies seem to come across as. While one has more lines to say than the other, both girls show that they may have a bright future ahead of themselves, if they don’t let mommy and daddy take over their lives and get an edumication. Because honestly, when you’re the centerpiece of a major, big-budget horror movie that goes #1 for two weeks in a row, do you really need to worry about learning how to write in cursive? Hell naw!!! Lord knows I didn’t want to and look how I turned out…..

Consensus: May not be a game-changer in the slightest bit, but Mama is still an effective horror flick that’s chock-full of some worthy scares, worthy characters, and best of all, a worthy story that takes some surprising turns you don’t expect it to go through with, especially with that ending.

7.5 / 10 = Rental!!

Christmas Card material? You bet your ass it is! Especially if you're a sick, twisted fuck like me! Mwhaahahaah!

Christmas Card material? You bet your ass it is! Especially if you’re a sick, twisted fuck like me! Mwhaahahaah!

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net