I bought my ticket for Mama with reluctant anticipation. While it can’t hurt to have Guillermo del Toro’s name attached to a film, horror fans are used to constant letdowns at the multiplex. I was pleasantly surprised to learn Mama was an old-fashioned ghost story. While I’m almost numb to come-out-of-nowhere scares, my less jaded moviegoers were not. I heard whimpering at one point. I heard a couple declare the film “too freaky”, and then unceremoniously leave. Cool start, Mama, you’re weeding casual viewers out of the mix. While not original, nor intent on exploring new ground, first time director, Andrés Muschietti, had a clear vision of terror and subtext. He controls his horror trigger finger well, forcing the viewer to endure brief glimpses of impending darkness gathering furtively just out of focus.
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