Umma (2022) Horror Movie Review


The Review

“Umma,” starring the talented Sandra Oh, is a film that delves into the complexities of mother-daughter relationships against the backdrop of cultural identity and supernatural horror. Directed by Iris K. Shim, the movie presents a narrative that is both a family drama and a ghost story, exploring the deep-seated fears and traumas that can be passed down through generations.

The story follows Amanda, played by Oh, who lives a secluded life on an American farm with her daughter, Chrissy. Their peaceful existence is disrupted when Amanda’s estranged mother’s remains are sent from Korea, unleashing a series of eerie events that force Amanda to confront her past and the fear of becoming like her own mother.

Critics have noted that “Umma” is an ambitious film that tackles weighty themes such as the dark side of assimilation and the ways trauma can be inherited. The movie has been described as having the potential for a touching and powerful drama, but it also attempts to fit into the horror genre, which has received mixed reactions. Some reviews suggest that the film’s focus on conventional horror clichés and lack of tension undermine its more exciting ideas.

Despite these criticisms, Sandra Oh’s performance has been widely praised, bringing depth and emotion to the role of Amanda. The film’s exploration of Korean culture and the concept of “Umma,” which means mother in Korean, adds a layer of cultural significance to the story. The movie’s depiction of the nexus of Asian and Asian-American culture has been a point of discussion among critics, with some finding it uncomplimentary due to the horror elements.

“Umma” has been described as not particularly scary, but its themes of generational trauma and guilt are indeed terrifying. The cultural references are deep, though some feel the symbolic imagery is overstuffed and not fully explained. The performances by Oh and Fivel Stewart, who plays Chrissy, are solid, but the overall tone and tension of the story have been deemed choppy and underwhelming.

In the Nutshell

“Umma” is a film that may not satisfy those looking for a traditional horror experience but offers a thought-provoking look at the bonds of motherhood and the haunting nature of unresolved trauma. It’s a movie that might resonate more with viewers interested in the psychological aspects of horror and the exploration of cultural identity. Whether “Umma” is a missed opportunity or an impressive debut for Shim, it certainly provides a platform for discussion on the complexities of family and heritage in the context of a horror narrative.   [2 out of 5 stars]

If you already saw this movie, help us rate the movie by click on the Star Rating. 


Genre: Super natural haunting

Where to watch the movie:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.