Guillermo del Toro presents Mama, a supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their parents were killed. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night.
Mama focuses on two small girls who are left in a cabin after their troubled father is killed by a malevolent spirit. Fast forward five years where the father’s brother Lucas still has search parties trying to locate the missing girls. When one of the parties stumbles across the cabin where the girls were holed up, they discover the children who are now in a feral state. The pair are brought to be examined by a psychiatrist, and eventually a judge rules they can be ordered to the care of Lucas and his girlfriend Annabel (Jessica Chastain). Once the children are moved in, it becomes noticeable that they have brought something sinister with them from that cabin in the woods.
Sometimes when you read the premise of a horror movie on paper, they sound pretty ridiculous. So as I write these next few sentences on the plot of Mama, I can understand how over the top the movie sounds. Without giving too much away, the spirit is actually what has taken care of the girls for the last five years while they were missing. She is now a maternal figure of sorts and jealous of anyone else who has come into their lives. Reading that, I know it all sounds outrageous, and it is. But it actually works in the context of the movie. What doesn’t work is the ho hum pace set by half hearted scares that we have seen before in movies just as bland as this one. These are what would make Mama an around average horror flick. What makes it a bad watch is the moronic ending to close all the averageness. Viewers under 15 may not roll their eyes during Mama’s final 20 minutes, but anyone over that age bracket is in for sure disappointment.