MORE STORY LINES IN THE THEATER THAN ON THE SCREEN
Not a great way to kick off my 2013 movie year. A movie that was just okay was brought down even further by an audience full of idiots. I expected more from a matinee show.
I’m a regular at the theater close to my work place. Whenever I can catch a movie before a shift I do so. (Even if I have to go alone which is usually this case.) On this particular occasion, I had a friend join me. On the way to the theater, I bragged about the merits of matinee movies. There are usually tons of empty seats which results in a much quieter experience.
I was proven wrong the second we entered the theater. It was every true horror fans worst nightmare. A dozen young teens who were sitting together. I should have known we were doomed but even then I was optimistic at that point. We sat down as far away from the rowdy group as we could. Minutes later an even worse group of teenage girls sat a few rows behind us. We knew both groups were going to talk throughout the movie and that’s EXACTLY how that sh*t went down!
Keep in mind the following tales happened while the movie was playing. You’ll gain a better understanding of how frustrating it was. I’ll try to keep these events in chronological order. But first, as is customary in my reviews, here is the trailer for MAMA:
Looks pretty good doesn’t it? I thought so too. Before I get to my little tales, I’d like to mention that we absolutely CRUSHED them all at Cineplex Timeplay.
THE TALE OF THE CELL PHONE
We were already annoyed by the constant chatter that plagued the previews. It seemed like everyone in that theater hadn’t seen each other in years and HAD to catch up. Either that or they were already nervous because of the creepy Evil Dead trailer. Two kids screamed & it wasn’t even the gruesome red band trailer!
That’s when it hit me. What were all these kids doing in the theater on a Friday afternoon in the first place? They seemed a bit young for a horror movie even if it was PG-13.
When the previews ended everyone actually settled down… Until a cell phone belonging to one of the girls behind us started ringing. If you guessed her ring tone was Justin Bieber’s ‘As long as you love me’…
Welcome to our nightmare.
THE TALE OF THE REPETITIVE IDIOT
Mama is about two young girls who lose their parents and find themselves in a cabin inhabited by a ghost they call Mama. In my opinion, it’s an awesome concept. Tons of possibilities. The girls they cast to play the roles (both young and old) are adorable. That was the point but one of the girls behind us really thought they were cute. The following quotes were spoken at full volume:
“Look at how cute they are”
“How cute are they?”
“Man these two girls are cute.”
“I can’t get over how cute they are.”
“How cute are they?”
I would lose my mind if I had a friend repeat the same thing 12 times in the middle of a movie. “You’ve established the kids are cute. We all agree. Now just be quiet and formulate a new thought. That’s how society works!”
THE TALE OF THE SISSY
The endless talking continued as the movie established Mama and the main characters. There are various scares that any seasoned horror fan could spot that still made these kids scream at the top of their lungs.
That’s when I noticed one of the kids in front of us was sitting on the floor with his back to the scream. He was one of the main kids that never shut up. His friends laughed at his comments but none of them realized that he was probably terrified and couldn’t watch. Some kids that young don’t have fun at horror movies. They get nervous and the only defense they have is talking and laughing. It’s a mask you have to shed if you have any hope of enjoying good horror films.
Mama has it’s moments but that kid would have peed his pants if we were watching a movie like Sinister. Bughuul is 58 million times more terrifying than Mama.
Speaking of Mama, here’s a picture of her just to remind you that were still watching (or trying to watch) a movie.
THE TALE OF THE SHHH WAR
The greatest irony of the afternoon came about an hour into the movie. The young kids began to annoy Team Bieber behind us. I couldn’t get over it. The girls behind us who wouldn’t shut up were telling the kids in front of us to shut up…
How could they be so oblivious? They were just as bad! Holy crap I wish I would have said something. I mentioned it quietly to my friend and we both agreed that these kids would have given us lip and we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. He was quick to point out that they would have annihilated me if I had gone by myself.
What the girls didn’t realize was how close they came to being on the losing end of a Popcorn battle. The Sissy was leading the charge. He literally crawled to each of his friends pointing out the girls who shushed them. I really wish they realized how scared he was. He was willing to do whatever it took to distract his friends.
Ironically, it was Team Bieber that pointed out the reason why these kids were in the theater in the first place.
“These kids shouldn’t even be here. They just bought tickets to Monsters Inc. 3D and snuck in.”
Funny how she was complaining at full volume… Princess Bieber needed to shut up.
THE TALE OF THE FAILED PICKUP ATTEMPT
Even though we were constantly distracted, I actually liked the story. It’s an interesting ‘Mowgli’ type of story. It wasn’t very scary but it was clever at times. It’s just a shame that people wouldn’t stop talking. Was it time to leave the theater and complain? People were shushing and yelling at each other to shut up to no avail.
My friend and I were completely annoyed by everyone in that theater. Team Bieber was especially annoying but there were a few boys who were interested in every single word they said. At one point, a teenage boy turned on his cell phone and flashed the light at the girls (and by extension… me.) I turned around at the exact moment the boy waved at them.
“Hey… How you girls doing?”
Are you kidding me!? You’re going to try and pick them up in the middle of a movie!? It wasn’t long before his own friends were telling him to shut up. Eventually the girls shot him down that he gave up. He had no chance.
Things calmed down slightly towards the end of the movie. That’s when I realized, I didn’t really like Mama all that much.
THE TALE OF THE ACTUAL MOVIE
Ohhhhhh right… The movie…
Mama was steadily building towards an ending I was pretty interested in. We finally got a glimpse of Mama’s face and it was creepy but then we saw the ghost again and again. Almost too much. By the time we reached the finale, Mama was no longer creepy. She became another character in the movie and I think that really took away from the atmosphere they worked so hard to create.
Overall, the movie was just okay. I was expecting a lot more scares but it still has a few moments here and there. Most of the good moments were ruined by kids who weren’t taught theater etiquette. It’s sad.
Speaking of sad, I loved the ending of the movie because it went where most movies don’t. Putting children in harms way is tricky so it was nice to see a risk for a change. When it’s done right it can be incredibly tense. Mama just missed but I applaud the attempt to avoid a typical happy ending. By far my biggest complaint is Mama’s CG. It’s okay for most of the movie but the finale is pretty bad. (Also, they should have give Jaime Lannister more to do.)
If you’re curious to see Mama, I would wait for a rental opportunity in a few months. As for the annoying kids… They never stopped. Someone was always talking. My message for parents is simple. When you send your kid to a movie and they come home with a ticket for Monsters Inc. 3D, ask them what it was about– Wait a minute… They probably already saw it! They could have answered any questions. Their plan was full proof!
Worst movie audience of all time? Sorry Paranormal Activity 2, we have a new champion.
FUN FACT: Did you know Mama was based on a short film? Curious to see it? Here it is with an intro from producer Guillermo Del Toro: