So, I saw Mama the other day! Have you all seen it? Guillermo del Toro has put together a showy, stylish horror movie that managed to be more than scary. We got to see a woman bond with two troubled children and become a respectable and loving mother figure for them, even though she initially didn’t want kids and others thought she may have been unfit. We got the tag team scares of freaky feral children and an extremely jealous ghost. We also got a really showy ending and a pretty awesome stupid-movie-doctor to mock.
And Mama herself… Man, she was scary; her voice, shrieks, and tendency to pop up at any time were terrifying. That’s exactly what you want from a horror movie monster.
Not that I’d know what she looks like. I never actually saw her. No, I misspoke. I saw her once. There’s a scene where Victoria has her glasses off and she looks at Mama reaching for her sister, Lilly. That doesn’t really count though, as Mama was all blurry.
See, I have a special method of watching horror movies. I never see one in a theater without a hoodie. In the case of Mama, I was wearing my absolutely awesome Rainbow Dash hoodie. I’ve included a link to an image of this thing so you can imagine how ridiculous I look at the theater. Whenever the music hints at even a slightly unsettling moment, down comes the hoodie! It’s pulled down over my face and my hands shoot to my ears in case Mama decides to make those horrible shrieky sounds again.
It’s really quite a foolproof method of horror movie viewing for sissies. I highly recommend it. Mock me if you like.
Here, watch the Mama trailer.
I bet the hoodie horror-movie-viewing method is looking pretty good now.
The thing is, with a movie like Mama, its effectiveness was almost called into question. Because Mama liked to appear anytime, it meant I watched half of the movie with the hood over my face. However, that made me realize something.
Mama is scary even if you aren’t watching the screen.
With my hood down during the frightening moments, Mama was transformed into an audio novel. Though there were no descriptions of what was happening, the sounds of movement, dialogue and even the emotion that came through the performances still managed to be haunting. The only time when I got nothing out of my keep-the-hood-down, I-don’t-need-nightmares-tonight technique was in the final moments. For the last fifteen minutes I had to woman up and actually face Mama.
Still, for most of the movie, when I did retreat into my fabric shell, I still managed to get as much enjoyment and scares out of Mama as I would have had I not been hiding whenever it seemed even remotely scary.
Good on you, Guillermo. Good on you.