21 February 2013 3:35 AM, PST | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★☆☆☆ Produced by Guillermo del Toro, the visionary filmmaker responsible for putting Spanish-language fantasy back on the map with efforts such as Cronos, The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth, Andrés Muschietti's Mama (2013) has clearly taken its cues not only from del Toro's own back catalogue, but also the cinematic tradition of pans-European/Japanese horror. Sadly, this particular Spanish-Canadian co-production never quite feels like the sum of its parts, devolving disappointingly into a nuts 'n' bolts chiller with sparse originality of its own. Like a fairground ghost train, the more we understand the mechanics behind its scares, the less effective they become.

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