If you can see her, you’re already dead
Director: Clive Tonge
Release Date: August 2018
Plot: Sophie (Kurylenko) wakes up, hears scary noises from her parents’ bedroom and sees her dad dead. A psychologist arrives there to determine what happened.
Mara is flawed but still is a creepy horror film with an interesting premise, with a demon that slowly infects your dreams, getting stronger until it can kill you, reminding me a little of Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies and the 2015 documentary The Nightmare.
While the idea of a Mara type demon goes back centuries and while this film has some interesting moments of horror, you can’t help but feel that with a bigger budget and a little more time, they could have delved a little deeper into the lore and avoided all the missed opportunities that pop up throughout the film.
Kurylenko is great as the lead and makes some less believable scenes somewhat make sense. You could tell that she really committed to the role, while the supporting cast does the best with what little it gives them.
Another of the great aspect of the film is the demon who is brilliantly played by Javier Botet who has a history of playing freaky creatures such as Mama in the film Mama and the Slender Man in Slender Man, Whenever Mara is on screen it is a chilling sight, made all the worse by the character not having any dialogue.
This film has some issues, which is understandable given that it was Tonge’s first feature film, the main one after the aforementioned missed opportunities with the lore being the speed in which the characters go from not believing in demons to finding them entirely plausible, throwing you as you attempt to figure out how they are suddenly onboard with a dream infecting demon that kills people after only two incidents. Although nowhere near as strong a debut as Ari Aster or James Wan, Mara showed enough promise that I will monitor Tonge to see what he does next.