After killing two colleagues and his wife a man takes his daughters and starts speeding down a snowy road disappearing deep in to the woods and an abandoned cabin. 5 years pass and the children's uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), have not given up the hope of finding his nieces and have employed trackers to scour the woods looking for them. Their belief pays off when the trackers find the children but they are incredibly feral having survived alone with what experts believe is an imaginary figure they refer to as Mama. It is thanks to an expert that Lucas and Annabel are given a house to live in and financial support from an institute to take the children in. But is it just the children who have entered their home?
Yes, Yes, Yes , Nooooooo. That is how I feel about "Mama" as it has a great build up with the opening scenes of the car speeding down a snowy road drawing you straight in to the drama and despair of this man racing to get away. And whilst what we get relies on computer trickery as the car spins down the road it is excitement as is when we see the man and his two daughters making their way to a cabin in the woods. Whilst a cliche the whole cabin in the woods thing there is almost a dark fairytale side to it which makes you sit up and pay attention. All of this before the movie jumps 5 years and we have more fairytale combined with creepy as we meet the children for the first time in 5 years and they are seriously feral.
So far this has been the Yes, Yes, Yes part but then comes the Nooooo bit as we then get stuck into creepy kid/ paranormal activity as strange things happen in the home and poor Annabel gets creeped out by it all. Now it is all brilliantly done from the looks which the children give to the whole horror aspect of thing appearing and causing trouble. But it becomes too familiar and in a way there needed something more that creepy kids combined with the paranormal activity in a home and it doesn't deliver it.
The knock on effect is that whilst the acting at the start of the movie is good especially from the child actors the longer the movie goes on the more anonymous it becomes. It is a shame as towards the start of the movie the characters actually draw you in, especially the unlikely couple of Lucas and rock guitarist Annabel, but once the children are found the character struggle for depth.
What this all boils down to is that "Mama" starts off brilliantly but it us unable to maintain it much beyond the first half hour where upon the familiar side of things takes over and it becomes just another horror movie, a well made one but till just another one.