With the exception of the first exquite five minutes and that point near the end of the film that mirrors the three-minute short of the same name, the most hair-raing thing about "Mama" is its tedious, protracted, cheesy expotion; zero ghostly atmosphere; forced, contrived plotting; dull, dull, dull cinematography; and ridiculously cheap CGI.
Chastain who was fantastic in "Take Shelter" comes off tentative and at times completely unmoored in her punk rocker turned surrogate mother role. Coster-Waldau who tears up the screen in "Mama's" emotionally wrenching beginning is off stage most of the film; Kash's Dr. Dreyfull is just dead weight, a clunky drone; and the wild, Cirque Du Soleil little girls are often painful to watch as they pitch back and forth between mesmerizing and ridiculously unbelievable. And, yes, I agree with all the moth haters--what a cheap, cloying trick to help market a dismal film from the man who gave us such masterpieces as the "The Devil's Backbone" and "Pan's Labyrinth."
If you haven't seen "Mama" yet, run the other way and rent "The Innkeepers", "The Woman in Black," "The Others," or "The Devil's Backbone," all of which sustain a gorgeous haunting narrative from beginning to end, are highly atmospheric, and have a spot-on cast.