Jessica Chastain got nominated for approximately 400 awards for her amazing performance in Zero Dark Thirty. While people are still arguing over the ethics of the movie and what it’s implications are in terms of torture, no one will argue that Jessica Chastain didn’t do a great job portraying the incredibly hardcore Maya. And its not like this is her first time getting major accolades her for performance in a movie. It was just last year she got nominated for a supporting actress Academy Award for her role in The Help.
So why then did this amazing actress read the script for Guillermo del Toro’s Mama and decide it was a good idea to take the role of angsty Annabel. It’s a weird movie and it’s a weird role and I’m not exactly sure what made her say yes to it. But let’s begin to dive into her role and maybe find a reason that she felt compelled to make this movie.
Spoilers are coming, like a lot of them. So stay away if you like suspense. Keep reading if you have no plans on spending any money to see this movie.
Or you’re still reading, grand! You’ve made the right choice!
Here’s the basic premise of the movie. A man kills his wife and his co-workers before fleeing town with his two young daughters. He drives erratically on a dangerous road full of curves and ice, as murderers are want to do when they’re trying to evade the police. Not surprisingly he crashes the car. Surprisingly everyone survives the crash completely unscathed. Physically. Obviously we’re in for some major emotional damage.
The family of three stumbles upon an abandoned cabin in the woods that’s chock full of 1970s furniture. Because they’ve never seen a horror movie in their lives, they go inside. Just as the father’s about to shoot his daughter (he l-o-v-e-s murdering people that are near and dear to his heart), a mysterious figure kills him. And then raises his daughters. It’s Mama. But not their Mama.
As we find out in the movie, she’s an insane woman who escaped an asylum in the late 1800s, killed her infant son and then proceeded to haunt a cabin full of time-period-inappropriate furniture. If they’re going to make the furniture old, why not make it 1800s old? Why purposefully go for a decade that never gets mentioned in the movie? Are we supposed to believe she killed off the Bradys? I don’t know.
Anyway, the murdering father’s brother spend a few years looking for his missing nieces. He finally finds them living like feral animals in the cabin where their father took them. Even though he lives in a small apartment with a woman (Jessica Chastain!) who doesn’t want children, let alone dangerous feral children, he brings them home.