Updated: Apr 19, 2022
*This review contains spoilers
Umma, Korean word for mother, is a supernatural horror film about Amanda (Sandra Oh), a Korean immigrant living in on a rural American farm with her daughter, Chris. Mother and daughter live a quiet life growing a bee farm to produce honey to sell to locals, but their lives are intervened by the delivery of Amanda's late mother's remains. Haunted by her mother's hardships of adjusting to a new country, Amanda experiences visions of her mother and fights with her spirit from taking Amanda's body as her own. Amanda's paranoia is then turned to her almost-off-to-college daughter creating a rift in their mother-daughter relationship.
The movie starts off with huge potential, but quickly bores viewers with it's slow storytelling. There seems to be no character development with Amanda's mother's story. We have no idea why she was tormented or why her relationship with Amanda failed other than she felt that Amanda abandoned her when she needed her daughter the most. This was a huge opportunity for writer, Iris. K. Shim, to display her storytelling skills with creating a deep mother daughter bond/relationship, that had us all wondering, "What happened between these two?".
Umma felt like it ended too soon without any explanation of relationships between Amanda and her estranged Korean family. The movie felt too rushed to finish and left viewers to fill in the gaps for themselves. Umma was a great attempt in creating a Korean American horror film, but created more questions than answers.
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