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Born to be wild!

10 of our favorite movies featuring feral or wild characters

By Jeff Michael Vice
Special to MSN Movies

That's creepy. We repeat: That's crrreeeeeepppyyy! And furthermore, "Brrr!"

If January's wintry chill wasn't enough to get you shivering, might we suggest that you check out the spooky-looking, shivers-inducing trailer for "Mama," a new mystery/thriller/horror movie that's in theaters Jan. 18. In addition to having one of the more visually arresting teasers we've seen recently, "Mama" also has a pretty intriguing premise: A young married couple, Annabel and Lucas (Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), are trying to raise a pair of orphaned sisters who were left alone in the wilderness for several years.

The new foster parents -- who are tied to the girls by blood -- as well as a group of therapists are trying to figure out how they survived for so long on their own. And as expected, the young sisters, Victoria and Lilly (Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nelisse), are having trouble adjusting to normal, domestic life. Worse, they're having premonitions that their long-missing, presumed-dead mother may be returning to claim her children.

Bing: More about 'Mama' | Video: Watch the 'Mama' trailer

Co-screenwriter and director Andres Muschietti also made the well-regarded 2008 short film of the same name, which has obviously been expanded. The Spanish filmmaker smartly cast two "it" actors as his leads this time around: Chastain, from the acclaimed "Zero Dark Thirty," and Danish star-in-the-making Coster-Waldau, from the art-house hit "Headhunters." She's nearly unrecognizable, with dark hair, and he's at least a little less scruffy here than he is in HBO's "Game of Thrones."

Again, the trailer certainly has us intrigued. The creepy imagery reminds us a bit of the films by Guillermo Del Toro, who put his name on the movie. (He's "presenting" it in theaters.)

Of course, "Mama" is not the first film to feature wild-child characters. The "feral" human has been a staple of literature and film going as far back as the black-and-white era, when filmmakers adapted Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," in 1931 and 1941, and Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan" concepts. At any rate, here are a few of our favorite born-to-be-wild movies.

(Universal Pictures)