Mama can’t come to the phone now. She’s slammed to the wall. In fact, she’s in the wall.
“Mama” is the new children-in-peril thriller from executive producer Guillermo del Toro. And, we know from his “Mimic” days that kids are fair game.
The story-telling may be a bit confused at times. But, you’ve got to love the genuine scares and images that “Mama” brings to the table. Two children are rescued from a remote cabin after five years in the wild with only a ghostly presence to protect them. Mama is a bit possessive and is very willing to travel wherever the kids wind up. Thanks to their princely uncle (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), that happens to be a good place. He has a great girlfriend (Jessica Chastain) and has used all his money and more to continue the search for the kids long after the police gave up. You see, the kids were toted to the cabin by the father for some murder-suicide. Mama put a stop to that by offing dad before he could hurt the children.
Writer-director Andy Muschietti obviously knows good cinema. He makes a movie that’s fun and scary, although it borrows heavily from thrillers that went before. One of the major story flaws is taking Coster-Waldau out of the action so Chastain could have more screen time. They might have been better as a tag team as Mama begins her takedowns.
Still, creepy is as creepy does. A good film, not a great film. Plenty of thrills to be had. Grade: B
Street date: May 7, 2013
Formats: Blu-ray combo and DVD
Runtime: 100 minutes
Released by Universal Studios Home Entertainment