Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years…. but how alone were they?









Film information

Genre: ,
Starring: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Release date: Jan 18, 2013
MPAA rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and terror, some disturbing images and thematic elements
Runtime: 100 min
Movie Reviews:
  • 80
    The New York Times - by Manohla Dargis
    Instead of delivering buckets of guts and gore, this ghost story offers a strong sense of time and place, along with the kind of niceties that don't often figure into horror flicks, notably pictorial beauty, an atmosphere throbbing with dread and actors so good that you don't want anyone to take an ax to them. ...

  • 75
    Movie Nation - by Roger Moore
    Horror is all about that short-circuit the screen's technical manipulations cause in our brain, so this isn't high art. But Mama is easily the most moving, most chilling ghost story since "Insidious," an emotional tale efficiently and affectingly told. more

  • 75
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch - by Kevin C. Johnson
    The finale is heavy on CGI. But it never takes away from this respectable entry into the horror genre that values chills over kills. ...

  • 75
    Philadelphia Inquirer - by Steven Rea
    An effectively spooky ghost story with Guillermo del Toro's imprimatur (he's executive producer), Mama is every adoptive parent's nightmare: What if the children you bring home start eating moths and toilet paper, and won't come out from under the bed? And when they do, it's only to do something hurtful? more

  • 75
    Charlotte Observer - by Lawrence Toppman
    Muschietti does an excellent job of revealing just enough about Mama as we go along (and just enough of Mama herself) to show he's in control of this genre. ...

  • 75
    Chicago Sun-Times - by Richard Roeper
    Movies like Mama are thrill rides. We go to be scared and then laugh, scared and then laugh, scared and then shocked. Of course, there's almost always a little plot left over for a sequel. It's a ride I'd take again. ...

  • 70
    Slate - by Dana Stevens
    Like most haunted-house stories, Mama gets steadily less scary as its (for the most part, fairly predictable) secrets unfold. But even if the beats are familiar, Muschietti sustains a remarkable mood throughout: wintry, elemental and stark, like a late Sylvia Plath poem. more

  • 70
    New York Magazine (Vulture) - by David Edelstein
    The plotting isn't fresh, and the politics are a tad reactionary, but the movie is also shapely, rounded, satisfying - a classical ghost story. more

  • 70
    The Hollywood Reporter - by Todd McCarthy
    Mama represents a throwback and a modest delight for people who like a good scare but prefer not to be terrorized or grossed out. more

  • 67 - by Stephanie Zacharek
    Mama is one of those pictures that holds you aloft on its vaporous mood of dread – the occasional silliness of the plot mechanics don’t matter so much. more

  • 67
    Austin Chronicle - by Louis Black
    Haunting and extremely atmospheric, Mama is a horror film imbued with an unsettling and affecting power. more

  • 63
    ReelViews - by James Berardinelli
    Narrative weakness and bad horror tropes get in the way and Mama's ending disappoints. more

  • 63
    New York Post - by Kyle Smith
    First-time writer-director Andy Muschietti, an Argentine discovered by Guillermo del Toro, relies too much, especially in the early going, on horror clichés (sudden loud noises and jagged blasts of music), but he does make the tension hum. ...

  • 63
    Rolling Stone - by Peter Travers
    Chastain digs deep, going beyond the call of scream-queen duty to find the passion that gives horror a pulse. more

  • 60
    Wall Street Journal - by Joe Morgenstern
    Mama itself is above average as a piece of filmmaking, even if its scare quotient is middling or below. That's OK with me. I was content to be impressed by the skill of the first-time director, Andrés Muschietti; absorbed by the performances and smitten by some startling images. ...

  • 60
    Time Out New York - by Keith Uhlich
    Expertly conjured atmosphere only gets Muschietti so far, but there's enough genuine promise here that you're willing to cut this talented newcomer some slack. more

  • 58
    NPR - by Ian Buckwalter
    What more often sinks Mama is, well, Mama herself. Much like another recent homage to a spookier era of horror, 2011's "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" - which, like Mama, was executive-produced by Guillermo del Toro - Muschietti's film shows its monster too early and too often. more

  • 50
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) - by Adam Nayman
    The film's long middle section is basically "Paranormal Activity" sans that series' handicam aesthetic, as things go bump in the night and the grown-ups take forever to get their act together. more

  • 50
    Portland Oregonian - by Marc Mohan
    The visual design of Mama is effective, at least in small, quick doses. But those are about all the positives for this example of why a solid audition reel doesn't necessarily mean you're ready to churn out a feature. more

  • 50
    Boston Globe - by Tom Russo
    The frustration, though, is how much the movie leans on made-ya-jump scares and contrived plot devices when its quieter chills and already fraught setups are so potent. more

  • 50
    Variety - by Justin Chang
    Mama, for all her digital and prosthetic creepiness, is finally a bit of a bore. ...

  • 50
    New York Observer - by Rex Reed
    Trading in her red locks for kohl-lined eyes like a raccoon and the vampire look of Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, [Chastain] is the spookiest thing in Mama. Everything else is cable television. more

  • 40
    The Guardian - by Xan Brooks
    It has been converted into a proficient, machine-tooled horror flick, stuffed full of shocks and buttressed with back-story. Mama got so flabby the second time around. ...

  • 40
    Time - by Mary Pols
    Mama is clumsily written and choppily edited, but Chastain doesn't have a bad scene in it, and you can see why she chose to be in this supernatural ghost story. more

  • 40
    New York Daily News - by Joe Neumaier
    If you're going to have a ghost in your movie, it might be a good thing to present a viable alternative to that ghost. Mama, however, presents a battle between two not very good options before crumbling like a sheet on a string. more

  • 40
    Village Voice - by Melissa Anderson
    Mama never delivers the primal terror its premise would suggest. more

  • 38
    Washington Post - by Michael O'Sullivan
    There's something dead and rotting at the center of Mama, and it isn't the ghost of the woman who lends the horror film its title. ...

  • 33
    The Playlist - by Erik McClanahan
    By the time the ridiculous child psychologist character encounters a government employee with a convenient bounty of useful information, Mama just becomes laughable, then annoying. more

Movie images
User Comments & Reviews

  1. Liana Shimunova

    Very European in its direction, aesthetic and narrative, Mama possesses a strong, emotional core that will surprise those jaded by some of the lazier horror titles of late.