Guillermo del Toro, the creative genius who brought you Pan’s Labyrinth, presents Mama; a chilling horror centred on the abandonment of two young children and the haunting consequences of their years alone in the wild. In comparison to other child-horror films, Mama packs a compelling storyline that keeps the film from sinking into a terrible cliché, turning Mama from a classic ghost story into a bizarre (and suitably del Toro) concoction of manic special effects and gripping cinema.
A nicely pitched counterbalance to the often grim visions we’ve come to associate with modern Scandinavian crime stories, Headhunters is less The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and more Coen brothers farce. A blackly comic thriller, it is at times wonderfully dark, but always far from dreary.
Cliched performances, shallow characters and a patchy narrative. Still, it involves medieval torture and the Spanish Inquisition, so there’s at least something to see here.