Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What Comes Next: Mama

Welcome to the first post in my new series, where I chronicle what I think would happen after the credits roll.  (If you’re curious as to how this idea came about – and why wouldn’t you be? – you can read my original post here.)

For my first post, I thought I would tackle Mama, mainly because it’s one of my favorite movies of the year, but I also left the theater wondering about a lot of the loose ends that were left dangling at the end.  (You can read my original review of Mama here.)

These posts are going to be extremely spoiler heavy.  So, if you haven’t seen Mama and don’t want to know how it ends, I suggest you stop reading now.    So I’ll just put a SPOILER ALERT here, and let you know that it applies to the entire post.


First of all, I’d like to say a few words about the ending.  I know a lot of people had problems with the ending, but I kind of liked it.  I loved the build-up to it.  They make a big point of finding the bones of Mama’s lost child, and pretty much say that giving her those bones (and thus helping her to find the child she lost) will placate her.  This is a common theme in ghost stories.  To help the ghost move on, a wrong must be righted.  So they give Mama the bones of her child, and everything seems like it’s going to work out.  Mama changes from her freaky ghost figure into her freaky human figure.
But it doesn’t work.  She literally tosses the bones of her child aside in order to go after Lilly & Victoria.  Because Mama was crazy before she died, and even death can’t cure crazy.   
I loved that.  It took a scene we’ve seen hundreds of times and turned it on its head. 
Of course, I was a little sad when Mama ended up taking Lilly as a replacement, but the movie had been set up to show that, while Victoria had a real shot at fitting into society, Lilly never really had that chance.  So, while I was sad (if you’re not sad when an innocent child dies, there’s probably something wrong with you), I understood why it happened.

So…what comes next?
When the movie ends, Annabel, Lucas and Victoria seem poised to go on with their lives.  They’ll mourn Lilly, but they’ll try to get back to as normal a life as they can.  It’s not really a happy ending, but at least they didn’t all die.
But their lives probably won’t be good for very long.
On top of dealing with the death of a child, Annabel and Lucas are probably going away for the murder of Jean.  Who, on top of being the grandmother of Victoria and Annabel, was also the woman they went to court with for custody of the children.  The last time she is heard from, she is calling social services from outside the house of Annabel and Lucas, then proceeds to break into the house to get pictures that could show evidence of child abuse.  She is killed in the house by Mama, and her skeletal corpse ends up at the cabin where the girls were originally found.
Speaking of the cabin…
They are probably also on the hook for the disappearance of Lilly.  There’s evidence of all of them in the cabin, and yet they come back home with only one child.  Just because they’ll never find the body of Lilly (unless they just start looking for butterflies matching her description, which is highly unlikely in a police investigation) doesn’t mean she’s not presumed dead.  She went over the cliff and disappeared in the water.  It happens all the time.  Furthermore, the fact that Mama is no longer plaguing the family means that there’s no chance of her showing up and convincing an open-minded detective that all of this was the work of a ghost.  Mama is gone.  Along with her are the stories that paint Annabel and Lucas as innocent.
Last but not least, they’ll also be on the hook for the death of Dr. Dreyfuss, the psychiatrist.  He is killed in the cabin, and Annabel has a box of evidence stolen from his office in her house. 

With Annabel and Lucas in prison – and Jean dead – Victoria will most likely end up in foster care, which doesn’t bode well for her chances of living a normal life.  Even though she warmed up throughout the movie, her ties to reality were tenuous at best.  Without the constant presence of Annabel and Lucas in her life (the only people who know about Mama, so the only people who can really relate to her), she’ll probably crawl back deeper inside of herself, possibly going back to the feral state they found her in.  In a few years, it wouldn’t be a shock if she threw herself off that same cliff.  It’s grim, but that would more than likely be her fate.

It’s pretty depressing, but that appears to be where their story leads.

I welcome any comments that might add something else to this conversation.

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