(Spoiler alerts, sort of) Following a tragic car crash in the dead of winter, two orphaned little girls find shelter in a cabin the woods. When they’re finally found, years later, they’re starved, filthy, traumatised, emotionally-damaged and basically feral. How they’ve survived is a mystery – but it’s a mystery that follows them back to the home of a kindly uncle and his less-than-delighted rock-chick girlfriend. Because Mama doesn’t want to let them go.


Mama is a disquieting film, with little gore but a lot of chills. I sat through it with a cringey sense of unease, and there are some horribly unnerving, deeply atmospheric moments when you want to leap out of your freaking skin. But it’s tender too; the most poignant moment for me was the short-sighted eldest sibling, who lived in the cabin without glasses, removes them again when Mama appears. Of course, once Mama is revealed the tension dissipates somewhat (weak sfx just punctures the otherwise atmospheric stuff) but its also partly because you feel a bit sorry for the poor ghoul. Jessica Chastain is just great again. I love her. Ontario is the non-specific North American location.