Mama – 4.25 stars

This Guillermo del Toro produced ghost story is scary, judiciously using the shock techniques of The Woman in Black, and intriguing, developing an actual mystery behind the horror.  First time director Andres Muschietti is confident, evoking the creepy feel of The Ring, and Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister in Game of Thrones) are convincing as the caretakers of two girls found abandoned in a Virginia cabin 5 years after their father (Coster-Waldau’s brother) absconded with them and disappeared. Upon discovery, it turns out the girls have been adopted by a new, more sinister force. A little more patience and exposition prior to the gripping finale, and less of a CGI bonanza during that finale, could have made this a horror classic. As it is, it’s pretty damn good.

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