6.2/10
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Mama (2013)

PG-13 | | Horror, Thriller | 18 January 2013 (USA)
Trailer
2:20 | Trailer
After a young couple take in their two nieces, they suspect that a supernatural spirit named Mama has latched onto their family.

Director:

Andy Muschietti

Writers:

Andy Muschietti (story), Barbara Muschietti (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,524 ( 118)
11 wins & 19 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 Julia Chantrey ... Nina
Ray Kahnert ... Judge
Diane Gordon Diane Gordon ... Louise
Matthew Edison ... Young Cop
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Storyline

Jeffrey Desange, senior partner of an investment brokerage, has a breakdown after a financial collapse and kills several co-workers and his estranged wife and kidnaps his two young daughters, Victoria and Lily. When they're found five years later, they're taken in by their uncle (their father's twin brother) and his girlfriend. Macabre events soon make the new guardians suspect that a supernatural evil force named Mama has attached itself to the girls. Written by Stephanie Carter

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They've come home, but not alone. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Isabelle Nélisse can't speak English, which is why she's not given much dialogue and speaks more with body language. See more »

Goofs

The film is set in Virginia and while most elements are factual, such as the state seal in the librarian's ID badge, all cars in Virginia have a State Inspection Sticker on the center of the windshield. This is missing on all cars in the film. See more »

Quotes

Louise: A ghost is an emotion bent out of shape, condemned to repeat itself, time and time again until it rights the wrong that was done.
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Soundtracks

Nightmares
Written by Junkie XL, J. Stevens, F. Xavier and M. Sharrad
Performed by Junkie XL
Courtesy of Roadrunner Records
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User Reviews

 
The Mothmom Possibly.
12 March 2014 | by hitchcockthelegendSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

Mama See more »

Filming Locations:

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,402,310, 20 January 2013

Gross USA:

$71,628,180

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$146,428,180
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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