Guillermo Del Toro Shares The Short Film That Inspired Mama

Guillermo Del Toro doesn’t really need to make Pacific Rim. The writer-director stays plenty busy producing genre projects that tickle his fancy. Mind you, we’re thrilled that he’s still inspired to have massive robots fighting off giant, freaking monsters for our summer-blockbuster enjoyment. But while we wait for Rim to hit a few months, right now the director wants to get us ready for Mama, a witch tale he helped produce.

According to Del Toro, Andres Muschietti’s horror feature started as a short film about two orphaned girls found in the woods. They are handed over to a foster parent (played, in the movie, by the versatile Jessica Chastain), only to learn that their supernatural “mother” has followed them. Del Toro appears before a YouTube clip to intro the original short, which you can now watch right her as you prepare for the feature-length version:

“Mom is back.” When Del Toro calls a short “one of the scariest little scenes I’ve every seen,” genre fans are going to sit up and pay attention. As he explains, the clip is claustrophobic and disturbing, but extremely well made. The mood it generates makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Having seen that, I absolutely want to see what Muschietti can do with a full-length feature.

Chastain stars in Mama, joined by Megan Carpenter and Isabelle Nelisse in the roles of the terrified and possibly haunted young girls. Jane Moffat, Julia Chantrey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau round out the rest of the cast. The movie will be in theaters on January 18th. Does the short film get you as excited as Del Toro is about seeing a full-length Mama?

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.