Posted on 2/01/13 02:32 PM
"Mama", based on a short by the same name, takes a simple 3-minute premise and expands it to feature length. First time director Andrés Muschietti doesn't content himself with the cheap scares that so often inhabit the PG 13 horror movie, and instead attempts an unsettling atmospheric creepiness, which for most of the movie, he succeeds at. A father does some very bad things and leaves his daughters in a cabin in the woods. There they are protected by a spirit creature they call "mama". When their uncle tracks them down and brings them home to live with him and his girlfriend (Jessica Chastain), they find the spirit has come along too.
Mama has a creepy, unsettling vibe that is reminiscent of a movie like "The Ring", or another Guillermo del Toro produced film, "The Orphanage", but where those movies maintained a bit of mystery, Mama relies a little to heavily on computer-animated effects, which add a "been there, done that" quality to the film. The twist ending feels a little forced as well. Overall, it's a solid effort, though.