Mama is a 2013 Canadian horror drama film, directed by Andres Muschietti from a screenplay by Muschetti, Barbara Muschetti and Neil Cross. The film is produced by J. Miles Dale and Barbara Muschietti, with Guillermo del Toro serving as executive producer. It is based on Muschietti's Spanish-language short film, Mamá (2008). Originally set for an October 2012 release, it was released in theaters on January 18, 2013.
At the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, a stockbroker, Jeffrey Desange kills his business partners, his employees and estranged wife before taking his young daughters; three year old Victoria and one year old Lilly.
Driving dangerously fast on a sunny road, the truck slides off and crashes in the woods. Surviving the crash, Jeffrey takes the children into an abandoned cabin. Planning to kill his daughters and commit suicide, he holds a gun to Victoria's head. Just then, a shadowy figure pulls him out of the door, snapping his neck. The kids survive by the fireside and are tossed a cherry by the mysterious figure.
Five years later, a rescue party, sponsored by Jeffrey's twin brother, Lucas, find the children alive but animal-like in their behavior.
The kids are put in a welfare clinic under the psychiatric care of Dr. Gerald Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss agrees to support Lucas and his girlfriend Annabel's custody claim against the kids' maternal great-aunt Jean. Dreyfuss is intrigued by the drawings the kids have made of a mysterious character they call "Mama", whom 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 slides into a comatose state.
Annabel, a punk-rock musician unrelated to the kids, finds herself left alone to care for them while Mama's visits continue. Although Annabel makes progress with Victoria, she finds Lilly hostile. Alarmed by nightmares and a warning about "Mama's jealousy", Annabel asks Dr. Dreyfuss to investigate.
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 spirit separated from her child and brings to light the story of Edith, a mental asylum patient in the late 19th century.
Dr. Dreyfuss recovers a box of a dead child's remains, and has his first encounter with Mama while interviewing Victoria.
Annabel has a nightmare about Mama's past; Mama had committed suicide by jumping off a cliff after stealing her baby from the nuns who had separated them.
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 has been searching for him; she sees Victoria and Lilly as substitutes.
Lucas regains consciousness after having a disturbing vision of his dead brother Jeffrey telling him to go to the cabin in the woods.
Annabel and the kids are visited by Aunt Jean, who, alarmed by some bruises on the kids, tries to get Annabel investigated for abusing them. Victoria's growing closeness with Annabel makes her less willing to play with Mama, unlike Lilly, who still prefers Mama to Annabel.
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 kids' case files from his office. She learns that Edith and Mama are the same person, while Lucas leaves the hospital to search for the cabin.
Shortly after she makes a breakthrough with Lilly, Annabel and the kids are attacked by a jealous Mama, who subdues Annabel, possesses the body of Aunt Jean, who had broken into the house for evidence of abuse, and escapes with the kids.
Upon regaining consciousness, Annabel takes the box bearing the remains of Mama's child and heads for the woods, where she meets Lucas.
The couple spot the children on a nearby cliff, where Mama (who killed Aunt Jean) is preparing to relive her suicide by taking Victoria and Lilly with her over the cliff. Annabel offers Mama the remains of her child, and the angry spirit undergoes a more peaceful transformation, appearing human again.
But when Lilly calls out for him, Mama returns to her terrifying form and attacks, discarding the remains of her child.
After a desperate struggle, Annabel has just enough strength to hold on to Victoria who decides to stay with her and Lucas, while Lilly cries that she and her sister should be with Mama.
Mama encases herself and Lilly in a cocoon and jumps off the cliff, hitting the same branch she did before.Upon impact, she and Lilly turn into a shower of moths. While hugging Annabel and Lucas, Victoria notices a blue patterned butterfly on her hand, which she believes to be Lilly.
- Jessica Chastain – Annabel
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – Lucas Desange and his twin brother Jeffrey Desange
- Megan Charpentier – Victoria Desange
- Isabelle Nélisse – Lilly Desange
- Daniel Kash – Dr Dreyfuss
- Julia Chantrey – Nina
- Jane Moffat – Jean Podolski
- Morgan McGarry – Young Victoria
- Jayden Greig – Orphaned boy #1
- Tyler Curnew – Orphaned boy #2
- Sydney Cross – Orphaned girl
- Pamela Farrauto – The Nun
- Javier Botet – Undisclosed role