[Stefano Pollio/Unsplash]

Mama

00:00 January 21, 2013
By: David Vicari
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[Courtesy of Universal Pictures]

Mama is an effectively spooky little dark fairy tale. There are familiar and even some contrived elements to it, but the picture works due to the story's strong emotional core. it's also well-made and well-acted.

A suicidal man kidnaps his two young daughters and takes them to an abandoned cabin in the woods. Five years later, the girls are found and entrusted to the care of their uncle and aunt, Lucas (Nikolaj coster-Waldau) and Annabel (Jessica chastain). However, for those fi ve years lost in the woods, something looked after the girls...something supernatural, and it doesn't want to let go.

Now, in small bursts, the "Mama" creation looks scary, but when we fi nally see it in long stretches, it looks kind of goofy. still, there are a few good "jump" scares.

Once again, Jessica chastain (The Help, Tree of Life, Zero Dark Thirty) is fantastic. Here, she is a black-haired, tattooed goth musician who never dreamed of having children. As fate would have it, she inherits two little girls who happen to have an angry spirit looming over them. Go fi gure.

Mama is a good chiller. Go see it, but bring someone to hang on to.

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