Writer: Clive Tonge, Jonathan Frank (Screenplay)
Starring: Olga Kurylenko, Craig Conway, Javier Botet, Rosie Fellner, Lance E Nichols, Mackenzie Imsand
Plot: Sophie wakes up, hears scary noises from her parents’ bedroom and sees her dad dead. A psychologist arrives there to determine what happened.
Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Has Great Scares
Story: Mara starts when a young girl Sophie (Imsand) witnesses her father murdered, with her mother Helena (Fellner) trying to protect her from something, Doctor Kate (Kurylenko) is given the case to investigate, which soon takes a strange turn when both Helena and Sophie claim it to be a mysterious figure called Mara (Botet).
Kate’s investigation leads her down the path of sleep paralysis, which the husband suffered from, now Kate is suffering from it herself, where she is seeing the strange figure herself, she decides to investigate more, which only sees her needing to question her own reality.
Thoughts on Mara
Characters – Kate is a psychologist that is working with the police on a domestic death case where she must decide what is best for a little girl, she does make the difficult decision, only to find herself being one of the latest victims of the sleep demon Mara. Kate seems to throw out her professional mindset despite seeking professional answers, which could explain all of it away in a logical way, this character is frustrating mostly because of her profession, rather than her action, which would make sense in the similar situation for a non-professional position. Dougie is a man that has been suffering from the effects of the Mara, he does fill in the blanks about who Mara is and how to avoid being taken by the figure. Mara is the figure that comes during sleep paralysis, the figure has been haunting people for years and now has come back for more. We do meet a waste of space detective, a doctor who works with people with sleeping problems and other victims too.
Performances – Olga Kurylenko is great in the film, being able to play the sleep paralysis is always going to be difficult and seeing how she reacts, feels genuine through the film. Craig Conway is just like you want for a character that is going to lose their mind. Javier Botet is the star of the show, with his ability to transform his body to make it look like a creature of horror.
Story – The story follows a psychologist that must investigate the latest case, which sees her needing to learn and battle sleep paralysis that is bringing a demon to take lives. This story does show how terrifying sleep paralysis can be on the victim suffering the event, which is shown with all the terror it could bring, where the story might fall slightly short is by having a character that is all about science falling so easily into the supernatural, not showing any professional behaviour when it comes to seeing just what is happening to the young girl involved in the case. If she was just a random nonscientific position it would be added something to the story because we could have balanced the real or supernatural side to the story. When you look past this, we do get an investigation to what is happening, which could have been dived into more, while we could see more form the history or the character.
Crime/Horror – The crime side of the film does see bodies piling up, with an investigation getting involved in how this could be happening or who could be behind it. The horror adds into the film by seeing just how the Mara figure can come and haunt during sleep paralysis which can be a terrifying.
Settings – The film is set in the one city location, it does use your own home as the place where the horror happens, being it coming from the sleep you are experience.
Special Effects – The effects are used to elevate the terror behind the Mara figure, while certain movements are done by the actor.
Final Thoughts – This is a strong horror, with great horror moments, it is just the main character doesn’t seem to fit the role that the film is trying to make us believe.
Overall: Scares a plenty.
Signature Entertainment presents Mara on Amazon Prime August 14th