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Mama is a 2013 English-language Spanish supernatural horror film directed and co-written by Andy Muschietti in his directional debut and based on his 2008 Argentine short film Mamá. The film stars Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nélisse as two young girls abandoned in a forest cabin, fostered by an unknown entity that they fondly call "Mama" (Javier Botet), which eventually follows them to their new suburban home led by two adults (Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) after their uncle retrieves them. It was produced by J. Miles Dale and co-writer Barbara Muschietti, with Guillermo del Toro serving as executive producer. Originally set for an October 2012 release, it was released in theaters on 18 January 2013.


A young couple take in their two nieces only to suspect that a supernatural spirit named Mama has latched itself to their family.

Why It Rocks

  1. Spine-chilling cinematography that fits the tone of the movie very well.
  2. Brilliant acting/performances, especially from Javier Botet as Mama and Jessica Chastain as Annabel.
  3. An original, well-developed story line.
  4. When it comes to jump-scares, they're really unexpected and unpredictable.
  5. It shows Andy Muschietti has impressive skills as a director, who would later go on to direct the phenomenal horror-film adaptation, It.
  6. Amazing, top-notch special effects.
  7. The film’s opening is very heartbreaking, powerful and well-executed all at the same time.
  8. Mama is an horrifying and unpredictable ghostly antagonist.
  9. Numerous amounts of well-executed scary and serious scenes.
  10. Mama’s backstory with her actual baby is very tragic and emotional.
  11. The make up designs and CGI movements for Mama are top-notch and very nightmarish.
  12. A well-fitting setting/environment.


Mama received generally positive reviews from critics. It holds a 65% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 157 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The website's critical consensus states: "If you're into old school scares over cheap gore, you'll be able to get over Mama's confusing script and contrived plot devices." Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".

Box office

The film earned $28,402,310 on its opening weekend, debuting at #1 and playing at 2,647 theaters. As of 4 April 2013, it grossed $146,428,180 worldwide and is a commercial success. Additionally, Jessica Chastain, for the second time in her career, claimed the top two spots of the box-office with her starring roles in Mama and Zero Dark Thirty'".