At the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, a distraught man named Jeffrey kills his business partners and his estranged wife before taking his children--3-year old Victoria and 1-year old Lilly--away from home. Driving dangerously fast on a snow-covered road, the car slides off road and crashes into the woods. Surviving the crash, Jeffrey takes the children into an abandoned cabin, where he prepares a fire. Planning to kill his daughters and commit suicide, Jeffrey tells Victoria to look out the window and holds a gun to her head. Just as he is about to pull the trigger a shadowy figure pulls him away and out of the door, snapping his neck in the process. Victoria cannot see the figure as her glasses were in the possession of her deceased and now missing father. The girls survive by the fireside and are tossed a cherry by the mysterious figure in the night.
Five years later, a rescue party sponsored by Jeffrey's brother Lucas stumbles upon the car and the abandoned house, finding the children alive but animal-like in behavior. The girls are rescued and put by the courts in a welfare clinic, under the psychiatric care of Dr. Gerald Dreyfuss. Annabel's custody claim against the girl's maternal great-aunt Jean, on the condition that the girls remain accessible for case studies conducted in a house sponsored by the clinic. Dreyfuss is intrigued by the drawings the girls have made of a mysterious character they call "Mama", who they talk to and play with. During an intimate moment between Lucas and Annabel one night, Annabel is startled by the appearance of a shadowed figure in their bedroom doorway; while investigating, Lucas is attacked by Mama and falls off the staircase, losing consciousness and sliding into a comatose state. Annabel, a rock musician unrelated to the girls, finds herself left alone to care for them while Mama's visits continues. Although Annabel makes progress with Victoria, she finds Lilly hostile. Alarmed by nightmares and a warning about "Mama's jealousy" by Victoria, Annabel asks Dr. Dreyfuss to investigate. Meanwhile, Mama attempts to possess Annabel while she is sleeping and when she knocks her out in the stairwell.
Dr. Dreyfuss initially believes "Mama" to be a creation of Victoria's mind. However, his research corroborates Victoria's story that Mama is an aggrieved mother separated from her child and brings new light to the story of Edith, a mental asylum inmate in the 19th century. Dreyfuss recovers a box of the dead child's remains, and has his first encounter with Mama while interviewing Victoria. During Dr. Dreyfuss' studying of Edith, Annabel has a nightmare about Mama and her past; Mama had committed suicide by jumping off a cliff after stealing her baby from the nuns who had separated them at the child's birth. While falling, Mama's child was snagged on a branch and killed on impact while Mama fell into the water. Annabel realizes Mama never knew what happened to the child and had become a disgruntled spirit. She had been searching for her child all of this time. Mama now sees Victoria and Lilly as replacements for her lost child. Meanwhile, Lucas regains consciousness after having a disturbing vision of his dead brother Jeffrey. Jeffrey pleads with Lucas to save his children and go to the cabin in the woods where they were found. Annabel and the girls are visited by Jean, who, alarmed by some bruises on the girls, tries to get Annabel investigated for abusing them. Victoria's growing closeness with Annabel makes her less willing to play with Mama now. Unlike Victoria, Lilly still prefers Mama to Annabel. www.youtube.com/mama
Dr. Dreyfuss visits the cabin to research Mama's presence, and upon trying to photograph her, is attacked and killed. Finding him missing, Annabel steals the girls' case files from his office. She learns that Edith and Mama are one and the same, while Lucas leaves the hospital to search for the cabin where his nieces were found after five years. Shortly after she makes a breakthrough with Lilly, Annabel and the girls are attacked by a jealous Mama, who once more subdues Annabel and possesses the body of their Aunt Jean, who has broken into the house for evidence of abuse, and escapes with the girls. Upon regaining consciousness, Annabel takes the box bearing the remains of Mama's child and heads for the woods. She thinks that this is what Mama wants and after she gives her the child's remains, she will just leave them alone. But think again, Annabel! While on her way to the cabin, she runs into Lucas. The couple spot the children on the same cliff where Mama had committed suicide in the 19th century. Annabel offers Mama the remains of her dead child. The disgruntled spirit undergoes a more peaceful transformation, appearing almost human again. But when Lilly calls out for her, Mama returns to her terrifying form and attacks yet again, discarding the remains of her dead child. After a desperate struggle, Annabel has just enough strength to hold onto Victoria who decides to stay with her and Lucas, while Lilly cries that she and her sister should be with Mama. Mama then proceeds to encase herself and Lilly in a cocoon and once more jumps off the cliff, hitting the same branch she did in the 1800's. Upon impact, she and Lilly turn into a shower of moths. While hugging Annabel and Lucas, Victoria notices a blue and black moth land on her hand, which she believes to be her sister Lilly. www.mama.com/facebook
This film was very spooky indeed. This movie critic definitely gives it 5 stars and two thumbs up. If you have time this weekend, please visit your local theater so you can watch it for yourself and don't forget money for the popcorn and soda.