This post will contain spoilers and opinions you may disagree with - feel free to leave at any point.
This movie is a must-see for all horror fans. Whether you prefer gore over jumpscares or psychological over emotional trauma, this film is perfect for horror fans to unite.
From the trailer, it appealed to me. It was scary and after 9PM, the jumpscare was amazing. You don't get much information at all from the trailer itself, really. There's quick, snappy images to keep you engaged and guessing but where the storyline is concerned, there's hardly anything there to make you go, 'so that's what it's about.'
This movie isn't original, the storyline has been done before. The plot holes are there, the acting isn't the greatest in some cases and there are predictable scenes.
That's not to say it's not a great movie to sit down with and scare the shit out of you.
So, the movie focuses around a family, or more prominently, two young girls and their uncles girlfriend, Annabelle.
The movie begins with a distressed father taking his two young girls, one around 3 or 4 and another only around 1. He drives them dangerously in the snow towards a destination, however, they crash and end up in the woods. They encounter a lone house where they take refuge, just as the father is about to shoot his eldest daughter (and assumed he's going to murder himself afterward) he is brutally attacked and killed.
Five years later and the father's brother has been spending years trying to find his nieces. His girlfriend, a punk rock musician who doesn't like to be tied down and celebrates when she's not pregnant, is less than enthusiastic when news comes that the girls have been found. The two girls are underweight and animalistic in behaviour. They snap, claw and bite when approached, they've been feeding on racoons and badgers and cherries, they know little communication skills and are predatory.
Soon, the eldest girl learns quickly how to communicate with their uncle and becomes significantly close to Annabelle who is forced to care for the girls once her boyfriend is thrown down the stairs by an unseen force.
The two girls continue a relationship with a woman they call 'Mama' as she visits them in the night and play with them. Anna becomes suspicious when the youngest still talks little and begins to sleep outside. Once Anna and the girls begin to bond, 'Mama' an ex mental patient who attempted to escape with her baby but was killed when she threw herself off a cliff, makes herself known and begins to attack Anna claiming she wants the girls back. The movie ends with the youngest girl, Lily falling off the cliff with 'Mama' and the eldest staying put with her uncle and Annabelle.
I definitely think Jessica Chastain's acting deserves significant acclaim for this movie. Not only sacrificing her long, red haired locks for a choppy, rocker style, she really pulls off being a non enthusiastic single mother who wants nothing but these children to go away, she plays the damsel brilliantly and when her character warms up to the girls, she plays it perfectly.
I have to say the storyline was, although not original, was pretty good. Mama was just a ghost like character but they gave her a really deep past and motive for capturing the children. By the end, I kinda felt sorry for her character and understood why she wanted her own baby.
I give this movie a 7/10 for scares and 6/10 for storyline. Definitely recommend it but don't see it expecting awesome action sequences and psychological horror.