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Umma Blu-ray Review

“Umma” never takes advantage of its concepts.

Written and directed by Iris K. Shim, “Umma” (which translates to Mother) is a supernatural horror film that revolves around a Korean American mother (Amanda) who homeschools her teen daughter (Chris) on a secluded farm where they sell honey together. Amanda is allegedly allergic to electricity and as such no electronic devices are allowed on their farm. Chris is pondering attending college which puts a strain on her relationship with her overprotective mother. One day, Amanda’s uncle arrives with the ashes of her late mother whom she cut ties with after being abused by her. Amanda is seemingly unable to escape her past, however, when the spirit of her mother begins to haunt and even possess her. 

On paper, “Umma” has a lot going for it. It’s produced by Sam Raimi, it stars Sandra Oh, and has a unique story about Korean culture, heritage, motherhood, and childhood trauma that has all the makings of an eerie horror tale. Alas, Iris K. Shim doesn’t fully explore the concepts she presents in this straight forward 83 minute horror flick that relies far too heavily on cheap jump scares, a basic “sins of the mother” plot, horror movie cliches, and a no electricity subplot that feels lifted from “Better Call Saul.” Simply put, everything is too surface level here and the story wraps up far too neatly. 

The saving grace here is Sandra Oh who plays Amanda. The always reliable actress tries her best to elevate the material and ultimately makes the movie watchable. The performances by Fivel Stewart (Chris) and Dermot Mulroney (Amanda’s friend and business partner (Danny) are also on point. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? Expect a nice bright transfer.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? the score, dialogue, and spooky moments all sound crisp with this 5.1 track.

The only extras are a Digital copy and trailers for “Morbius,” “Don’t Breathe 2,” “Father Stu” ”Spider-Man: No Way Home,” and “Uncharted.”

May 23, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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