23 November 2014 | TdSmth5
Good attempt, not so good execution
A girl named Jenny tells us in voice-overs that she suffers from nightmares, but now it feels like they are becoming real. She lays some flowers at a tomb and we see and she senses a presence.
Next we find her interviewed by the police. We learn that she was found in front of a house covered in blood. She tells the cop what happened and we see it in long flashbacks.
Jenny was at the house for a party. Her cousin was there, another girl, a guy she's interested in and another guy. The house was her family's. But when she was a child, her mom who was mental killed her cheating husband. And little Jenny witnessed it. The mother was then institutionalized. The house went to Jenny's aunt--the mom of the cousin who is at the party. That's why Jenny isn't feeling very sociable. At night everyone starts hearing things and are overcome by some shadow. We keep seeing a woman that no one else sees. Next morning Jenny wakes up all by herself. She tries to investigate and then starts finding bodies. The morning after, the cops find her covered in blood.
Mara is a low-budget Swedish horror thriller but it's a short one at only 1:17hrs and a good chunk of that time is spend watching Jenny running around by herself looking for something and finding nothing. The female cast is attractive and voluptuous. There's some nudity, but not enough. The killings/disappearances don't take up enough time. Those happen too quickly. The story overall though is very good. We are led around by the nose as we think we know exactly what is going on but there are plenty of twists. Direction is good, but it doesn't manage to build the characters very well. We can't really care about this people, not even about Jenny. A big problem is that this movie is too dark. The interrogation scene is ridiculously dark, and so are most of the killings, which apparently were filmed in bright setting but darkened in post-production. The DVD comes with plenty of extras the most important of which is a healthy behind-the-scenes featurette that lasts 1:14hrs. There you'll find among other things plenty of nudity that should have been shown in the movie. Turns out that Angelica Jansson aside from being hot also has a lovely personality, which unfortunately doesn't come through in the movie.
Mara is a good attempt that suffers though from the low budget, stingy editing, and poor cinematography choices.