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Mama (2013)

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A young couple take in their two nieces only to suspect that a supernatural spirit named Mama has latched itself to their family.

Director:

Andy Muschietti

Writers:

Andy Muschietti (story), Barbara Muschietti (story) | 3 more credits »
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1,677 ( 169)
11 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Chastain ... Annabel
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ... Lucas / Jeffrey
Megan Charpentier ... Victoria
Isabelle Nélisse ... Lilly (as Isabelle Nelisse)
Daniel Kash ... Dr. Dreyfuss
Javier Botet ... Mama
Jane Moffat ... Jean Podolski / Mama (Voice)
Morgan McGarry ... Young Victoria
David Fox ... Burnsie
Dominic Cuzzocrea Dominic Cuzzocrea ... Ron
Christopher Marren Christopher Marren ... Cop (as Chris Marren)
Julia Chantrey ... Nina
Ray Kahnert ... Judge
Diane Gordon Diane Gordon ... Louise
Matthew Edison ... Young Cop
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Storyline

The senior partner of an investment brokerage, Jeffrey Desange, has a breakdown due to a financial collapse and kills several co-workers and his estranged wife. He then kidnaps his two young daughters, Victoria 3 and Lilly just 1. He drives his car recklessly through a winding snow covered road. He loses control of his car and drives off an embankment. He finds an abandoned and isolated cabin where he plans to kill his daughters, but the children are saved by a dark ghostly image. After five years of searching and depleting his savings, Jeffrey's twin brother, Lucas, finds the children that were raised without social interaction and claim that they have been raised by 'Mama'. Lucas disputes the custody with the children's Great Aunt but Dr. Dreyfuss, who is working with the girls, helps Lucas get custody of the girls so that he can still have access to them. Lucas, his girlfriend Annabel, Victoria and Lilly move into a house provided by the institute that Dr. Dreyfuss works for. Lucas... Written by Stephanie Carter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A mother's love is forever. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and terror, some disturbing images and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Canada | Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 January 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mamá See more »

Filming Locations:

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,123,052, 20 January 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$71,628,180

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$146,428,180
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clifton Forge, Virginia, is a real place, as is Douthat State Park where the lake/cabins mentioned in the movie are located, which is about 10 miles away in Bath County, Virginia. The stand-in main street is even very similar. The actual town, however, is not nine miles down a dirt/gravel road. In reality, it has direct access to Interstate 64, the same Interstate that passes through Richmond. It is also the only town in the world with that unique name. See more »

Goofs

When Victoria hits Lucas when he first visits her following her return from the wilderness, his hair is ruffled. His hair then changes several times between shots. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Dreyfuss: There is no rational explanation that supports this theory. But it is only the ability to embrace the different reality, that makes science expand beyond the limits of what we know. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs.
See more »

Connections

References Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

The After Dinner Payback
Performed by 'From Autumn To Ashes'
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Mothmom Possibly.
12 March 2014 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Mama is directed by Andres Muschietti and written by Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti and Neil Cross. It stars Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coaster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nelisse, Daniel Kash, Javier Botet and Jane Moffat. Music is by Fernando Velazquez and cinematography by Antonio Riestra.

A Suicidal father abducts his two young daughters and takes them to a cabin out in the woods, his intention is to kill them. Before he can enact his plan he is killed by a strange entity, leaving the two girls alone in the cabin. Years later the girls are discovered in the cabin, completely feral and when any sense can finally be made out of them, they talk of being looked after by someone they call Mama; And it seems Mama has come back with them to civilisation…

Based on his own 2008 Argentinian short of the same name, Andres Muschietti expands the idea out to a full length feature film. With pretty decent results as well. Pic is a supernatural fairytale, thick on ethereal atmosphere and not over reliant on boo jumps or an adherence to blood and guts spilling just to put bums on seats. From the moment the girls are found, scampering around the wood cabin on all fours, clearly having survived on cherries for five years, there's an uneasy feel to the story. We already know there is a spirit involved as we half glimpsed "Mama" during the pre-credits sequence, what we need now is a good story and a healthy quota of frights and peril for Waldau and Chastain as they become surrogate parents to the troubled youngsters; And again, Mama mostly delivers all that is required of it for a good night in by the fire whilst perched on the edge of your seat.

Chastain is excellent as the punk rock chick reluctantly mothering two children before her time, the two girls, Charpentier and Nelisse, are also top draw, exuding the sadness and confusion that children of that age would obviously be feeling under these circumstances. While their reactions to what we ourselves can't see, via glances or hushed exchanges, has a creepiness to it that delivers a bucket load of dread. Muschietti's direction is very stylish, not only does he marshal his principal cast members with great skill, he shows some ingenuity in scene staging with one sequence particularly brilliant as Chastain does housework and the younger of the girls plays with Mama in the bedroom, we know it, even though we can only see the wee bairn. The soundtrack and score is suitably screechy, and the cinematography by Riestra has Gothic tints to it.

Why Mama is not a bona fide entry in the upper echelons of horror is mainly due to an annoying mistake that so many horror genre film makers make, namely showing too much of the spook. There is a point around the hour mark where "Mama" herself just stops being scary, a shame because the effects work isn't half bad. There's other, less itchy problems, such as Waldau being reduced to a bit player from the mid-point, a sub-plot involving Kash's Dr. Dreyfuss just feels like set-up material, while the ending is sure to be a bit too WTF for some. That said, this is good genre cinema for those who like The Woman in Black type of thrills and story telling. 7.5/10


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