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Umma is a 2022 psychological horror film helmed by Iris K. Shim as the director and writer. Bringing an intriguing and unfamiliar narrative concept to the screen, the movie is a compelling exploration of the delicate balance between heritage and identity, family and self. This enthralling film stars Golden Globe winner Sandra Oh in the lead role, notable for her performances in successful TV shows such as "Grey’s Anatomy" and "Killing Eve". Co-starring with her are Fivel Stewart and Dermot Mulroney, who also deliver remarkable performances which further enhance the film's overall appeal.

The title of the horror flick, "Umma," is derived from the Korean language and translates to 'Mother' in English. This key term becomes the anchor for the film's core premise. The multifaceted ideas present in the term “mother” are skillfully manipulated throughout the film to stimulate an disquieting air of dread. The film is produced by Iris K. Shim, Sam Raimi, and Zainab Azizi. The theatrical release is done by Sony Pictures, following the completion of its post-productions in association with Stage 6 films.

Set in the United States, Sandra Oh plays Amanda, a woman who lives a simple life on a rural American farm. The character is Korean by descent and has spent her entire life juggling between the supposed tranquility of her environment and the nightmares of her traumatic past. She lives with her daughter Chrissy, portrayed by Fivel Stewart, and her life seems to be well-cemented in isolative normalcy. Amanda's life dramatically changes with the arrival of her mother’s remains from Korea. Alongside this shift evolves the film's unique narrative and the core of its eerie elements.

Amanda's inherited cultural legacy, embodied by her mother's remains, proves to be a source of terror rather than comfort, making her question her relationship with her own heritage. In Umma, her mother haunts her not just as a spectral presence but also as a symbol of her past, culture, and heritage – all that she strove to escape. Torn between the bubbling urge to respect her mother's dying wish and the fear of revisiting her disturbing past, the film thrives on Amanda's emotional journey. It forces her and the audience to tread the blurry line between love and fear.

Additionally, Dermot Mulroney's role marks a pivotal point in the plot, further embellishing the mystery narrative of the film. There remains a constant battle between the fears rooted in one's mind and the depths of love and commitment, which is presented impeccably through the expressive performances of the cast. Mulroney's character helps add layers of suspense to the storyline and the relationships shared among the characters.

The production style of Umma is beautifully groomed to elevate the mood of the film. Through the expert use of lighting and music, the dull sereneness of the rural farm and the eeriness of Amanda's psychological struggle are significantly amplified. The cinematography is effective in casting a sense of escalating horror without resorting to cheap jump scares. The directorial style amplifies the storytelling, making the film a genuinely unsettling experience.

Umma is a refreshing take on the classic horror genre. It goes beyond the conventional to explore the terror in identities and legacies, making it more of a psychological film with terrifying undertones. Amplified by the commendable performances of its cast, the film becomes a must-watch. With its foreboding atmospherics and complex themes, it takes viewers on a thought-provoking ride, infusing subtle elements of Korean folklore into the terrifying journey.

From the intricate character portrayals to the unique setting and plot, Umma institutionalizes a profound narrative and a visually engaging thriller. With its ominous yet emotion-laden aura, the movie manages to hold its audience in a grip of fear and fascination. A saga that grips with its intrigue and rivets with its paradoxes; Umma is a unique venture into the genre of psychological horror.

Umma is a Horror, Mystery, Drama movie released in 2022. It has a runtime of 83 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it mostly poor reviews, with an IMDb score of 4.7. It also holds a MetaScore of 51.

How to Watch Umma

Where can I stream Umma movie online? Umma is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Hulu Plus, Netflix, Sling, FX Networks, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Umma for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Iris K. Shim
Sandra Oh, Fivel Stewart, Dermot Mulroney, Odeya Rush, MeeWha Alana Lee, Tom Yi
Also directed by Iris K. Shim
Also starring Fivel Stewart
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