Mama Movie Review

Kaela Mason

On Jan. 18, Universal Pictures released their new horror movie Mama, a film based on Andres Muschietti’s 2008 Spanish-language short film of the same name. Executive produced by Guillermo del Toro of films such as Pan’s Labyrinth and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Mama exemplifies del Toro’s unusual approach to horror films: a mixture of old-school fairytale stories and new age visual effects.

AP Photo

The film opens with a troubled man named Jeffrey who, on the brink of a mental break down brought on by a financial crisis, had just killed his business partner and his estranged wife. After racing home to grab his two daughters, 3-year-old Victoria and 1-year-old Lily, his car slips on the snow-covered roads and crashed into the woods. It is here that he finds what was thought to be an abandoned cabin. With the intention of killing his daughters and himself, Jeffrey leads them into the cabin, only to be greeted by something supernatural.

Five years later, Victoria and Lily are found by their uncle Lucas in the cabin alone and in deplorable conditions. They were unrecognizable, and had resorted to animal-like behavior. In hopes of giving the girls a normal life, Lucas brought them to live with him and his girlfriend, Annabel. Soon after their arrival, tragedy struck putting Lucas in the hospital. Annabel was left alone with the girls…or so she thought.

Annabel comes to learn that a mysterious woman, whom the girls call Mama, has been coming to visit them at the house. It is revealed that Mama is the spirit of Edith, an inmate of a local mental asylum back in the 19th century. She now haunted the cabin in the woods hoping to find her baby whom she had killed in a murder suicide after escaping the asylum. Fixated on Victoria and Lily, Mama intended to do the same to them as she did her own baby. It is up to Annabel to save the girls from their impending fate.

Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones, Black Hawk Down) and Academy Award Nominee Jessica Chastain (The Help, Zero Dark Thirty), Mama does not disappoint. I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys horror films, as well as those who enjoy the fantasy genre.