Based on a 2008 short by the same director, Mama is a ghost story with clear roots in Spanish cinema, twisting the classic story of lost children to focus on the parental bond developed between two abandoned orphans and the (former) person who cares for them. Found five years later, the girls are feral and barely communicative, while Mama, the creature who nurtured them, is unwilling to hand over parental duties to their uncle (Coster-Waldau) and his grungy, unmaternal girlfriend Annabel (Chastain).
Mama is atmospheric and filled with enough effective scares and jumps to distract from several plot holes. The title character is a maternal mass of flowing blackness, with disjointed, horribly uncomfortable movements. She is, however, far more scary when confined to the shadows, or lurking and jerking through walls and closets, than the later CGI creation she becomes in the final scenes. While well executed, Muschietti's feature debut lacks the originality and flair to have much staying power, though it ends on a high with an unexpected, oddly bittersweet conclusion. [Becky Bartlett]
We think you'd like
The WitchRobert Eggers’s horror film about a Puritan family under attack from dark forces in a 17th century New England settlement has shades of the Salem witch trials. Read more »| 08 Feb 2016
Where You’re Meant To Be tour & album announcedA string of tour dates have been announced for new documentary Where You're Meant To Be, starring former Arab Strap frontman Aidan Moffat, have been announced. Read more »| 05 Feb 2016
Glasgow Short Film Festival unveils 2016 programmeLydia Lunch presenting the Cinema of Transgression at The Glue Factory, classic Universal horror movies given the 16mm shorts treatment and a focus on the short films of Syria are among Glasgow Short Film Festival's new programme Read more »| 03 Feb 2016
GoosebumpsGoofy kids' horror-comedy that lets RL Stine's Goosebumps monsters, and a hysterically over-the-top Jack Black, run amok So, you’re making the movie v... Read more »| 01 Feb 2016