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(Disappointing horror movie)

While admittedly not fans of horror movies, we were looking forward to "Mama" because of the appearance of "Zero Dark Thirty" star Jessica Chastain and what looked like an original plot line.

"Mama" grabbed our attention at the beginning as a distraught father kills his wife, kidnaps his two little girls, commits suicide and leaves them alone in a rundown cabin deep in the snowy woods.

Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) spends the next five years looking for them, and miraculously they are found in that same cabin, living like animals. What, or who, has kept them alive?

Lucas and his girlfriend, Annabel (Chastain), take them in, given a house on a medical compound where a psychiatrist has access to them and can study their behavior and progress.

Great so far.

But then the plot turns into just another horror movie. Puffs of black smoke appear, along with screeching music. Butterflies (or are they moths?) abound. Doors open and shut. Scary images appear behind the characters.

The girls are attracted to some indescribable creature that makes strange noises and appears in different forms. They call it "Mama.” Is this someone back from the dead?

There is a strong familiarity to the "Paranormal Activity" movies. When anything abnormal happens, we are subject to loud noises.

The doctor, Lucas, and Annabel all travel separately to the cabin. How they found it in the dark is questionable.

It all comes down to a confrontation with "Mama.” "Mama" is creepy, that's for sure. But underneath the original premise, it is filled with the same clichés found in most movies of this genre, right up to the final scene.

Rated PG-13, with violence and some scary moments.


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