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Feral kids? Ghost mom? Sounds like a movie and a half

click to enlarge Jessica Chastain in Mama
  • Jessica Chastain in Mama

Jessica Chastain also starred in this movie, featuring less Osama Bin Laden and more twisty mother ghosts. When two little feral girls are found in a remote cabin, they're taken in by their dead father's brother (Nikolah Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend (Chastain). Questions of how the children provided for themselves over the years they were missing are answered when a vengeful paranormal entity (created from the traumas of a 200-year-old mental asylum patient) comes looking for its brood. Writer/director Andres Muschietty and producer Guillermo del Toro aren't content with simple shock scares, instead building a surprising amount of fear from Mama's wild child actors and their complicated emotional connection to ghost mom. While the film of course builds to the same third act confrontation that all horror films seem to, at least the journey there and back is engrossingly spooky.


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Vol 24, No 21
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