Don’t Listen

Vampire Owl: We, vampires don’t really need to listen because we know.

Vampire Bat: Still, we don’t know everything.

Vampire Owl: I know almost everything, and I am sure about that.

Vampire Bat: Your certainty of knowledge only creates doubts.

Vampire Owl: My doubts are the results of me knowing, and nothing more.

Vampire Bat: You should at least listen to Uncle Dracula.

Vampire Owl: Uncle Dracula is no longer a proper source of knowledge.

Vampire Bat: I feel that you are thinking about starting a revolution.

Vampire Owl: Nonsense. I am not a revolutionary. I am beyond that.

Vampire Bat: Okay, let us see how far you can take that.

[Gets a vanilla chake and three glasses of blackcurrant shake].

What is the movie about? :: Daniel (Rodolfo Sancho) and Sara (Belen Fabra) moves into a new house with their son Eric (Lucas Blas), and hopes that they would have a happy time there, as it is a big house in the beautiful countryside. But things don’t turn out to be that good as they had expected. In this old house in a rural setting, they are not longer happy. Daniel and Sara still plans to restore and sell the house, and they don’t care much about the voices which Erice talks about, and the fact that he cannot sleep much either. Soon, a psychiatrist who comes to help Eric dies, seemingly in the same way as Eric was drawing. Eric also had the feeling that the voices were making him draw things. The boy continues to make problems at the school too, and keeps waking up at night, screaming aloud. The problems continue in the house with further weird occurrences, and soon Eric is found dead in a swimming pool just outside the house on a strange night. This separates the two who can no longer handle the pain of losing the child.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Sara is not able to handle it anymore and moves to her parents’ place, but Daniel decides to stay in the house and renovate it to sell it some day. Sara hopes that he will leave the house with terrible memories and follow her back to the city soon enough. That night, when he records a voice message and sends it to Sara, there are many voices in it. Right in there, he hears the voice of Eric, asking for his help. The same frightens him and he meets a supernatural investigator specialized in electronic voice with a paranormal touch. He is the one who is supposed to have gone through so many of similar paranormal events and have written books related to the same. Even though he is reluctant to believe the depressed father in the beginning, he finally decides to have a look, and travels to the place with his daughter, hoping to find something. Everything seems normal from a distance, but as they go inside, there are a few things that need to be taken care of.

The defence of Don’t Listen :: The atmosphere is well created for the movie, with everything happening in a house in the middle of nowhere. This is a house with a past, and it is located perfectly away from civilization for the people other world to make an appearance. Visually, it has a fine score, and it also scores well with the sound effects that asserts the supernatural presence strongly. The movie had also got into action quite early. It does have its scares, and there are some effective ones around here that does have the repetitive elements, but do work as we would have wanted it to. There are some interesting moments in the end, and there is a twist to go with it too. The haunting of this particular house and the people associated with it does have a different touch at times, along with the added history. It is to be noted that the movie has managed to achieve most of its positive things without using much of the gory elements, and with a simple tale. You have watched Hollywood do this before, and now we have the same in Spanish.

The claws of flaw :: This is another movie which reminds us of the usual horror films of Hollywood, even though not exactly the same as The Conjuring, The Nun, Annabelle, Sinister or Insidious – the common ones of our times which people try to watch all the time. It doesn’t move that much away from the usual path here too. The ideas of witchcraft and possession could have been much stronger here. The tale could have been twisted at many points, but they go for the safe background story yet again. The film is also slow in parts, and when there were so many opportunities to minimize such problems, it doesn’t make the best use of them. There were moments of horror which could have been better used, and the atmosphere could have been heavily worked on. After all, we have gone through so much of horror already, and there are enough resources to elevate the level of horror. Without thinking enough about the same, a horror film is more of a work of mystery, and that is the pothole where the movie almost fell during an earlier point.

Performers of the soul :: Rodolfo Sancho plays the father figure, and the one who is looking to get his son back in whatever way possible – the good father is played well, and he goes through the horror elements well too. The final moments have him at his best too. Belen Fabra plays the mother with less to do, but the two make the family well enough. Ana Fernandez is the one who catches our attention the most though, and she also plays the smarter character around there. She takes on the supernatural rather sensibly, and there is the bond with the father that runs through. She should give a try with Hollywood horror too. Ramon Barea is more or less the usual paranormal activist that we see around, and he suits the role very well – very much with experience. The kid has very less to do in comparison, as death comes rather too fast for him. As it is in most of the horror films, it is the demonic presence that maintains the scary work.

How it finishes :: Don’t Listen makes an attempt at the usual horror, with some differences which comes with the “voice” idea. One would have wished for it to bring more horror, but it does have some fine points. We do need our horror movies at regular intervals. It is good enough to watch one more horror film, while waiting for Ezra to be remade for Bollywood. We cannot be sure about that remake’s quality, but from the trailer, it is certain that it is done well enough. Corona virus pandemic has unleashed a different kind of horror into our world, and the usual horror is currently of lesser significance, but we await the return of the monsters of the night, as well as the demons which are part of our life. As we are certain that they will slowly and steadily return to haunt us, Don’t Listen is a pretty good reminder that we can go back to that at some point. Until we get to that particular horror, let us be safe from the present terror, the COVID-19 pandemic. We do have too many horror movies to watch in our short life time.

Release date: 24th July 2020
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Angel Gomez Hernandez
Starring: Rodolfo Sancho, Ana Fernandez, Ramon Barea, Bethlehem Fabra, Lucas de Blas, Nerea Barros, Javier Botet , Viti Suarez, Ruben Corvo, Jorge Oubel, Peter van randen

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Polaroid

Vampire Owl: I have heard about this case of a vampiric camera.

Vampire Bat: There is no such thing as a camera for vampires. We don’t even appear on the mirror unless we take the necessary measures.

Vampire Owl: I have heard about this camera which kills people.

Vampire Bat: It could be a werewolf thing. They are the ones who are really interested in cameras, posing for photos all the time.

Vampire Owl: What about the zombies?

Vampire Bat: They haven’t really invented the camera yet. The zombie lands are just trying to come out of the stone age.

Vampire Owl: I am sure that they won’t be able to do that any time soon.

Vampire Bat: Stone age actually suits them, but surely the camera won’t.

Vampire Owl: So, what are your thoughts on a camera which kills the people whose photos are taken on it?

Vampire Bat: It is a good way to kill those people you don’t like, I would say.

[Gets a paneer dosa and three glasses of mixed fruit juice].

What is the movie about? :: Sarah Dawson (Madelaine Petsch) and her friend finds a polaroid camera among the items left her mother, the former takes a gorgeous photo of her friend to show to her boyfriend, but the friend finds a shadow standing at her back, and is hunted by a mysterious entity which keeps coming for her at night, and it finally twists her neck and kills her. Much later, the same camera is found by Tyler Drew (Davi Santos) who gives it to Bird Fitcher (Kathryn Prescott), a shy teenager whom he has a crush on, and also lets her take his photo to test it. Bird, who goes home, decides to go on a party with her best friend Kasey Walters (Samantha Logan) who gives her a Little Red Riding Hood costume to attend the programme which is hosted by Avery Bishop (Katie Stevens), one of the much adored girls of the school. On the way, Bird sees a shadow behind Tyler in the photo, which she considers to a problem with the print.

So, what happens with the events here? :: At the party, she takes the photo of Avery and Kasey, along with some other friends including Mina Rodriguez (Priscilla Quintana), Mina’s boyfriend Devin Lane (Keenan Tracey), and her own high school crush Connor Bell (Tyler Young), offering a better quality printed photo in an instant which they can keep instead of getting lost among the thousands of photographs on a random mobile phone. After the party, Bird is informed by Sheriff Thomas Pembroke (Mitch Pileggi) that Tyler was killed inside the antique shop where she was also working. During the same night, when everyone else had left, Avery is killed by the same entity which murdered Tyler, and Bird who finds the shadow no longer in his photo, but in the party pictures, gets tensed, and tries to destroy the camera, but fails. Nobody seems to feel the need to believe her. Now, she has to find a way to save them all, but will she have them in time before everyone gets killed one after the other?

The defence of Polaroid :: There is not much that Polaroid doesn’t try to do, as it is sure that the focus has to be on the camera, and it establishes the same in the beginning stages itself, starting the killing spree, just a few minutes into the movie. The idea here is really good, and there are moments when the movie seems to be struggling, and then it comes up with something more. It manages to put some twists and turns in there, related to the antagonist, and the incidents which had happened before this ghost came into the scene. The visuals are good, and the surroundings are nicely chosen – the darkness is used well, and so are the sound effects. The evil spirit is nicely established as the one thing which cannot be stopped, early itself, as trying to destroy the camera and the photos taken on it won’t work. With a short run-time less than one and half hours, the movie handles everything directly and without confusion.

The claws of flaw :: With a camera at the centre of everything, like the tape in The Ring movie franchise, this one could have achieved more. After all, those who get their photo taken by the camera dies, and there is a serial killer past behind it – such a case is certainly worth more. It does leave the feeling that we have seen all these before, on many different occasions. Also, even after getting a pretty good cast to work with, they are not used that well. If it was another movie which had such a young talent, a more dramatic tale might have came into existence. Even when there is a party, there is nothing much happening there, except for a photo being taken here. It has an antique shop, just to take a photo, and to kill a person. Some of the deaths also happen without much of an innovation, as a person gets chased, and just gets killed, failing to impress.

Performers of the soul :: Kathryn Prescott surely is a talented actress, as it is her who manages to lead well throughout this movie. She does looks younger than her age, and so she suits the role well – her expressions also make it work better. Madelaine Petsch is limited to a small role in the beginning, even though we were given the feeling that she was the one who was to play a major role here – she is limited to that introduction to the polaroid camera programme. Tyler Young and Samantha Logan who plays the next supporting role manage to come up with an okay job. The other friends played by Katie Stevens, Priscilla Quintana and Keenan Tracey are just there to fill up the list of people to be killed by the camera because of being a part of photographs. In a movie like this, it seems that it is death that defines these next line of friends.

How it finishes :: Polaroid could have had you scared about taking photos, but it doesn’t rise to that much of a scary level – still, it is worth watching for some fine moments which are there, and the innovation does come into picture at times. If you are looking for another movie to watch for lock-down, this one is there. It is not the kind of movie which will appeal to all horror lovers, as we have been bombarded with multiple sequels and spin-offs of The Conjuring with movies like Annabelle and The Nun coming up with some more demons and spirits. Polaroid can also provide you with a spirit with a past, and you can watch it to add another one to the list. You are sure to enjoy it in parts, and the last few moments are quite good – therefore, it is fine to wait for the same. It is not a movie watch by many, and so, you can’t go with the critical opinions with just very few reviews.

Release date: 17th September 2019
Running time: 88 minutes
Directed by: Lars Klevberg
Starring: Kathryn Prescott, Grace Zabriskie, Samantha Logan, Katie Stevens, Madelaine Petsch, Priscilla Quintana, Tyler Young, Javier Botet, Davi Santos, Keenan Tracey, Mitch Pileggi

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Mummy

Vampire Owl: It seems that finally the mummy has scope to be a real mummy.

Vampire Bat: What are you referring to, here?

Vampire Owl: Usually in the movies, the mummies are men, and so the mummy is usually a daddy.

Vampire Bat: And you are talking like a dummy, for which there is no need.

Vampire Owl: No, you should see the mummy lady in this one. She is cooler than most of the known mummies.

Vampire Bat: You know one mummy which is cooler. You just can’t pronounce his name.

Vampire Owl: Yes, why don’t they have simple names like Count Dracula?

Vampire Bat: Well, mummies are from very ancient Egypt, and going so long back, such names had to exist.

Vampire Owl: I am going to call them Mummy A to Mummy Z.

Vampire Bat: Yes, please do it, as long as they don’t hear the same.

[Gets the tickets with cardamom tea and special popcorn].

What is the movie about? :: In ancient Egypt, Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) is an expert in almost everything, and is undoubtedly the best warrior, and the next in line for becoming the Pharoah of the lands. The Pharaoh, Menehptre (Selva Rasalingam) also sees his successor in her, strong, courageous and one who doesn’t give up. Things are all going smooth until the Pharoah has a son with a newer, younger wife, which angers her as she realises that all her work has been for nothing, with this young child taking over the kingdom as the Pharaoh of Egypt when he grows up. Frustrated with the situation, she decides to take the throne in one way or the other. Knowing that she can’t do it by himself against the extremely powerful Pharaoh, chooses to worship Set, the god of evil, chaos and war. This particular god who had even killed his own brother Osiris helps her in return for unleashing himself on Earth – but, after killing her father, his wife and the baby boy, she is captured by the guards and mummified.

So, what happens next? :: With the princess mummified, and buried in a land far away, the curse of Set remains, as the promise to him in unleashing the god was not kept. Years later, somewhere in the present Iraq, Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his best friend Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) spend their time looking to gather what all antiques they can get from the area of the nation called Mesopotamia, which used to be the cradle of civilisation while having their own trouble with the locals as well as the terrorist organisations operating from there. It is during these times when they accidentally uncover a tomb, which seems to be Egyptian, much to the surprise of the archaeologist, Jennifer Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) who also lands there as part of her excavations. With the approval of Colonel Greenway (Courtney B. Vance), she goes into the tomb supported by Nick and Cris, ending up with a sarcophagus immersed in mercury, which they decide to take home.

And, what is to follow next in the adventure? :: Their trip is rather cut short as the flight is attacked by a huge group of crows, and Cris who was bitten by a spider inside the tomb also turns undead, and Nick has to kill him. The plane ends up crashing, and Nick manages to save Jennifer by using the parachute, but he as well as the others in the airplane are assumed to be killed. But Nick ends up waking up in the mortuary, with a vision of an undead Cris, and he also has visions about the princess. He begins having more and more visions of the princess and undead, and goes to the crash site only to escape from the princess and her newly resurrected undead. It is a secret society headed by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russel Crowe) that helps them to escape, and after chaining the princess in such a way that there is no way to get away, explains to Nick that he is the key to her finishing the curse, which why he escaped without a scratch from the plane crash. Well, evil would always find a way, and so does the princess to escape and unleash herself – can anyone stop her in time?

The defence of The Mummy :: The movie does begin strongly, and there is certainly a nice beginning to the tale, with the interesting tale of the power-hungry princess of Egypt told and also with the mummy being unearthed, followed by the plane crash – there are also some nice visuals with everything, and the visual beauty is there throughout this movie no matter where things happen. Tom Cruise does a great job as the protagonist, and Sofia Boutella is amazing as the princess of Egypt returning as the mummy – the censor board seems to have worked very well to cover most of her tattooes; maybe they are against Indian culture more than we think they are, and it is not the movie makers who decide what we can watch, it is the current Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification in India, after himself getting to watch everything because he can – we saw most of it in the trailer, seriously. Russell Crowe is sadly wasted in his role though, and so is Annabelle Wallis, both having characters going nowhere against a powerful, love-seeking mummy and an even more powerful human Cruise.

The claws of flaw :: There is a certain loss of direction regarding this movie – the same can’t be called as positive divergence, because it just goes on and on, even adding the elements of Jekyll and Hyde, and one has to wonder why it had to be done, when enough material is available from the tales of mummies; people end up wondering if they are going to add the Hulk next. It is as if the idea about making good blockbusters by reboot, is leaving Hollywood. Not sure why decided to bring the mummy from Egypt to Iraq and then to England, with not much of Egypt there in the picture – we would have preferred to see the Pyramids whenever the word mummy was associated, and not like what they did with the third of the mummy movies. It was Dracula who really had to come to England, a vampire, not a mummy. The humour is of no use, and the climax is of no strength, with weak twists, and the final sequence not interesting at all. Also, Tom Cruise’s character gets bigger than the mummy on whom the movie is really supposed to be about, and it is also a creature who can be captured with sharp weapons.

How it finishes :: The Mummy brings the tale of the undead creature from Egypt once again, and this time not exactly in the same path. This certainly won’t prove to be a match for the movie of 1999 and its sequel, The Mummy Returns. This is surely better than The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor though, and one has to wonder if this stands any chance against Wonder Woman, or even the still running Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. It will certainly not bring three sequels and four spin-offs unless there is a big improvement with a sequel. Even though not a bad movie as it has its interesting moments supported by visuals and thrills, the execution is not that much there, which should give it a disadvantage against the movies which released earlier – but with Tom Cruise around, this should do okay at the box-office. After all, it has been a long time since we saw a Mummy movie, and a female Mummy as the main villain brings more variety to the tale. But where we want Tom Cruise more is in movies like Edge of Tomorrow, Mission Impossible, Jack Reacher, Minority Report, Oblivion and many others. Underworld and Resident Evil franchises, despite being in confusion due to too many movies, could combine action and horror better.

Release date: 9th June 2017
Running time: 107 minutes
Directed by: Alex Kurtzman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, Russell Crowe, Javier Botet, Selva Rasalingam, Dylan Smith, Rez Kempton, Chasty Ballesteros

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Conjuring 2

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Vampire Owl :: We were so close to missing this movie; it could have disappeared leaving us with only those positive opinions about this movie.

Vampire Bat :: But we didn’t miss, and it is the beauty here.

Vampire Owl :: Now, we have some new horror to report about here.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, and it is sweet to see so many people choosing this movie over the other inferior movies.

[Gets the tickets with some cheese popcorn].

✠ This was recently posted by me at Kiagia.com: http://www.kiagia.com/index.php/current-film-releases-movie/1454-the-conjuring-2-movie-review

In the year 2013, when The Conjuring released, there was new life for the horror genre. The first installment in The Conjuring movie series had such huge success that it made sure that there will be more to come, and after the spin-off Annabelle, the sequel to the original arrived, and has managed to be the talk of the town again. This movie continues the adventures of the American paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine, the Warrens who were associated with going through a good number of cases of haunting throughout the country. The Conjuring is based on the case of the Enfield Poltergeist which goes back to 1970s in England where there were claims of poltergeist activity and the Warrens were involved in the investigation.

Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) are checking the Amityville house in 1976, but Lorraine goes through a vision through the murders which happened at place and comes across a creature that looks like a demonic nun, along with a scene of the death of Ed. It has her worried about the future of their paranormal investigations, and she feels that there is some terrible fate awaiting them as long as they go on with their job. She does have another visit from the demon in her dream, and Ed also draws a portrait of the demon. It is in the year 1977 that the Hodgson family comes up against some weird incidents at their house. The police are helpless against these, and they decide to call the local priest instead to figure things out.

The family includes a divorced mother Peggy Hodgson (Frances O’Connor) and her two daughters, Janet Hodgson (Madison Wolfe) and Margaret Hodgson (Lauren Esposito), and her two sons, Johnny Hodgson (Patrick McAuley) and Billy Hodgson (Benjamin Haigh). It all begins with Janet, the second of the children beginning to talk to darkness and also seems to sleep-walk during the later hours of the night. There seems to be the presence of an evil entity, that claims that the house belongs to him and everyone else is trespassing. As the rest of the family also witness the presence of something not of this world, they stay at the neighbour’s house, but even then, they are not spared. At more than one occasion, Janet is possessed, and her situation only gets worse.

This finally brings Ed and Lorraine to the haunted house. They consult with other paranormal investigators, including Maurice Grosse (Simon McBurney) and Anita Gregory (Franka Potente) and they come across the spirit of an old man named Bill Wilkins (Bob Adrian), but the Demon Nun (Bonnie Aarons) is not really out of the equation. Soon, they will find out that the spirit of the old man, the demon, the vision of Ed’s death and the new case of possession and haunting, they are all connected to each other. With fear of death in their minds, can they go past the spirit and the demon to save the little girl who has put her faith on them? Or will the house remain haunted forever, and the family destined to remain in trouble?

It is difficult to compare the two movies, but one can safely say that this sequel is almost as good as the original. The success of this movie can be attributed to many things, including the setting which has been used here, the one strong demonic antagonist which is very well supported well by a secondary opponent, the jump scares that excels in quality and the acting department itself. With a huge number of scares in store, the movie is certain to keep all of its audience entertained. The attempt to scare begins with the first moments at Amityville itself, and they just keep coming as if to remind you that we are not done with you yet, and that we will always have something to scare you.

The best moments of the movie include the first appearance of Bill’s spirit, the Demon Nun coming out of the portrait, the possession of Janet, the sudden appearance of the Crooked Man and the spirit rising from underneath water. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson have done their parts wonderfully, and one got to love Madison Wolfe who played the possessed child. The one problem that people can have with this movie, is with those emotional moments, but they are actually very less in number. Throughout its run, The Conjuring 2 does make the viewers feel that they are part of this dangerous journey through the haunting, and with successfully doing the same, manages to be the sequel that the original movie deserved.

The Conjuring 2 has almost everything working in its favour. If you have watched the original, you will need to watch this sequel, and if you haven’t, still you need to check this one out. It works for everyone, and so we can be assured that there will be sequels to this movie, Annabelle and also that spin-off titled The Nun featuring the antagonist of The Conjuring 2. Here, we have a movie which needs to be watched with its entire splendor on the big screen, and it is a safe bet to make. This is also a franchise that knows what it is doing, and so the fans can be sure about getting their money’s worth with more titles which are to follow.

Release date: 10th June 2016
Running time: 147 minutes
Directed by: James Wan
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O’Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney, Franka Potente, Lauren Esposito, Patrick McAuley, Benjamin Haigh, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Simon Delaney, Shannon Kook, Sterling Jerins, Bob Adrian, Abhi Sinha, Robin Atkin Downes, Bonnie Aarons, Javier Botet

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Mama

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This one goes back a little to the past in this year itself, and this is one of those movies which could easily initiate such a sequence in the eternal time machine. This is rather more of the present than the past, as it doesn’t really go back that far if there is an intellectual consideration in depth. It was different in being different, and therefore its influence had to be such a lasting thing. There is one point where all the interest about this movie begins, and that is when one reads these lines from its cover – “Presented by Guillermo del Toro, creator of Pan’s Labyrinth“. He serves as executive producer, and as far as it is known, the movie is based on a 2008 short film of the same name in Spanish, about which there is nothing more to shoot in the quiver which is short of its crossbow bolts from that part of the world. The movie comes up with the dark tale of two little girls left in a seemingly abandoned cabin in the woods, taken care of by an unknown person or creature that they call Mama, and the same entity even follows the girls to their new home to which their father’s brother takes them after finding them as two feral children.

During a financial crisis, a disappointed and depressed man, Jeffrey Desange (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), kills his business partners and wife before taking his little children Victoria and Lilly away from home. Driving too fast on a road paved by snow and upset with all the thoughts about his failures and the crimes he had committed, the car slides off the path and crashes in the woods. Jeffrey takes the children and walks away from civilization, finally reaching something that seems to be an abandoned cabin. He plans to murder his daughters and commit suicide with a gun, but then a mysterious figure arrives in time to instantly kill him and it also feeds the two children. Victoria talks about the figure as a woman whose legs don’t touch the ground. Then the scene shifts to five years later, with Jeffrey’s brother, the kids’ uncle Lucas Desange (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), living with his girlfriend Annabel Moore (Jessica Chastain). They don’t live under good conditions, but Lucas haven’t lost hope about finding the children of his brother. He still sponsors search parties hoping to find some trace of his brother and children.

One of them find the children alive in the same cabin, but dirty, half-naked, horribly thin and with an animal-like behaviour – walking on four legs and talking like making some strange noises. The girls are put under the care of psychatirst Dr. Gerald Dreyfuss (Daniel Kash). They keeps talking about someone called “Mama”. He feels that it is just a creation of the girls’ minds as they were alone in the woods without help. But soon, Lucas is attacked by the same shadowy figure known as Mama and enters a comma. Annabel is forced to take care of the girls all by herself even as Mama’s visits continue. Annabel does get close to the elder child, Victoria, but Lilly remains hostile and highly attached only to Mama. Meanwhile, Gerald finds out something about this mysterious figure from the clues which Victoria gave away. Mama is a mother separated from her child – she used to be Edith Brennan, a mental asylum inmate in the 1800s. He also finds a box containing an infant’s remains from that former mental asylum which was kept as her belonging there. Meanwhile, Annabel has a nightmare revealing Mama’s past which reveals more about her. Lucas also has a disturbing dream of his dead brother Jeffrey telling him to save his kids.

But there might have been more about Mama that what met the eye. She is undoubtedly supernatural as well as tormented. The problem remained if she is normal and thus if she is reasonable. The psychatrist might have thought so, but the experience doesn’t go well for him. Even Lucas and his wife has to go through near-death experiences. So the question would be more about “why mama why?” rather than “who is mama?”. Well, mama is undoubtedly a former mother who no longer exists as a human mother. The nature of her strange love for her child is evident from her asylum background. The question might be about how much torment a mentally unstable ghost can cause to a group of normal, living people. That would be a lot of it, much more than what the mentally unstable father of two little children could do. How much is the chance of one making peace with her? It wasn’t possible when she was alive, and considering the fact that she is more motivated by the love for children rather than anything else, the solution becomes even more complicated in the human world.

Mama is a visual treat of a horror film, and not part of the gory ones which take over in the usual style. There is a well-created world of horror right in front of you all the time, and then suddenly there is a scene that takes your breath further away and then it goes back to normal to await the next thing. Welcome to this story of old-style less bloody horror movie of low gore level. There are signs of Guillermo del Toro’s magical extravaganza Pan’s Labyrinth or El laberinto del fauno, are evident in both the characters as well as the environment. There is the feeling of a dark fantasy through out and there is the lack of sunshine which is more motivating than the depressing thing which it might have become, which is a success in all ways. It’s just how horror films should be, without using any cheap or low class tricks. The looks of Mama is also a revelation, as she emerges from the walls or closet, sometimes suddenly and on other occasions as if part of all the horror that surrounds them. The use of moths to show Mama’s presence is a further effective thing, as it shows more of her tormented sould which is not completely evil, thus owl, crow or bat not chosen; neither is the wolf or cat given a chance at it. Mama is more of a butterfly rather than anything else, but a fierce one.

The movie’s dark world move along the path of Pan’s Labyrinth, but it is still not of that class of ultimate perfection and awesomeness, and still is close enough. It meets Hansel and Gretel in its witch-like creature who is less of a ghost and more of an undead freak of nature. There it shows the qualities of The Orphan meeting The Grudge and The Ring in a good way. Mama could have even made a good creature in Alien or The Exorcist, and the creature’s success is in its strange, but “suitable for almost every genre” looks. She is a dark fairy, the nature’s spectre, the tormented undead mother and the dark elf. She belongs to nature and as a creature to the living, she is more moth or a group of moths rather than anything else. They signify her presence, and if she takes the children with her, there will be more moths for sure. There is the positive thing – the innovation, for how the ghost is treated around here with a difference. The movie is fresh in its treatment of a new ghostly creature with heavy parental instincts. Such a creature is not onne would expect in such a movie, and until it appears everything might look more psychological than supernatural, even if the signs are already there from the beginning itself.

While Mama is a benevolent spirit when it comes to two children, but she is a malevolent and even a death-dealer with everyone else. She hasn’t yet become pure evil, even as her allignment away from goodness and sanity is clear by the climax scene. Even her unseen presence suggests the same. Her moths symbolize the little beauty that she has lost to death and decay and the beautiful world which was lost to her more due to the people around rather than her own madness. There are no usual suspects of the common supernatural, as there is only the variation which is Mama. The movie is very much dependent on your taste to survive, but the fact remains that it is more close to being suitable for all people with not that much blood and gore, or the display of any kind of nudity – well, this one never needed it considering its content and presentation. There is not much of a male gaze or a possible female gaze working out in this one. It is story of an undead mother’s love and with the addition of insanity to it, there is a lot to think about. There is no compromise in being spooky or creepy enough though.

Release date: 18th January 2013
Running time: 100 minutes
Directed by: Andy Muschietti
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nélisse, Daniel Kash, Javier Botet, Jane Moffat

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.