Saturday, November 9, 2013

Oh, Mama

Recently I've been dwelling in a world of dark fairies, utterly fascinated by the tormenting little devils. It started several weeks ago as I decided to return to my long-abandoned novel adaptation of the classic Victorian children's poem Goblin Market. My story is populated with a species of these impish brutal critters and I can't seem to get enough of them.
In order to work my way back into the world, I started reading Guillermo Del Toro's book Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, which is a guide to dangerous fairies. The book is fantastic and very informative. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the dark world of fairy tales. And since I was reading the book, I decided to watch Mama, which was produced by Del Toro and also features several of the types of beasts laid out in the book.
I had avoided this film when it came out last winter because I thought previews made it look pretty bland. After hearing some positive reviews from people a few weeks ago, I thought I'd give it a chance, especially considering how it might fit in with my current state of creativity. As it turns out, the movie was much more moving than the previews gave it credit for. It wasn't a typical horror story, in fact, it barely felt like a horror story to me. There were horror elements, but the overwhelming theme of the movie was tragedy.
The plight of the two sisters was quite moving, and felt comparable to what I've been trying to do with the sister characters in my novel. The way they drift apart in their way of seeing things is heartbreaking, especially at the movie's conclusion. I also thought the way it addressed the dark fairy elements was really well done. The way it revealed the past was exceptionally inventive. Ironically, the only places where I felt the movie didn't stand out was in the more traditional horror scenes, which felt indistinguishable from a million other startle fest films. But the sister relationship carried it through those weaknesses. It was definitely the perfect movie for me, coming at the perfect time when I've become absorbed in the wickedness of fairy creatures.

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