Inspired by a brilliant three minute short film and produced by Guillermo del Toro, ‘Mama’ tells the story of Annabel (Jessica Chastain) and Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who take on the responsibility for their two little nieces who have been missing for five years and left to survive on their own in a remote cabin in the woods. However, they soon discover that they were not completely on their own after all.

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The result is an atmospheric and stylish supernatural horror film. Unlike a number of modern horror films, it dies not rely on blood guts and gore to get its fear factor, but instead uses its atmosphere to generate the suspense and the shocks which is similar that of The Ring and other Japanese horror films. It uses tried and tested methods of flashing light, darkness and things that go bump in the night, which is much more effective than you might think.

There is a solid performance from Jessica Chastain but the real stars are the impressive and compelling youngsters who make the whole experience that much more believable and frightening. It plays out like a conventional old-fashioned ghost story that is fantastic when focusing in on the shadows but it is let down slightly by a CGI heavy ending that it doesn’t really deserve. Still, this is a very good stylish dark fairytale horror full of atmosphere and suspense that will have enough to please the majority of horror film fans.

“A Mother’s Love is Forever”

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