MAMA (2013, Andy Muschietti): 4/10
Starts off okay, with gentle chills and a nice sense of foreboding, but then it never finds a better gear. As things get more and more wild, it gets less and less scary. By the climactic scene on the cliff I was pretty much laughing at it. Unlike Del Toro’s previous THE ORPHANAGE (which he produced for J.A. Bayona, a more promising director than Muschietti, despite Bayona’s stumble with THE IMPOSSIBLE) this one can’t manage a deep sense of emotion in its family-horror concept. Chastain does the best she can with the material, but her character isn’t written with enough nuance to bother with. And the rest — ugh. Her boyfriend is a carboard box, the psychiatrist guy looks like Tony Shalhoub’s unemployed stand-in, and the evil aunt character is just insulting. Relies on too many sound effects and not enough story-generated scares. Definitely one of those efforts that only made its way into theaters (well over a year after filming, I think) thanks to Chastain’s ZERO DARK THIRTY momentum.