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It’s getting to the point where Guillermo del Toro’s name is attached to every horror project. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but after lending his producing skills to the likes of The Orphanage, Splice, and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, he’s certainly someone whose name in the credits gets horrorphiles excited. This is what makes today’s new from the Hollywood Reporter so stimulating. It has been announced that Guillermo del Toro will be producing Mama for Universal. Mama is a horror film about a couple who takes in their nieces and nephews who had previously been living in the woods. But it turns out something was keeping those kids in the woods, and it badly wants them back. Is it possible to buy a ticket to this now?
Mama will be directed by Andres Muschietti whose 2008 short film of the same name was the inspiration for the project. Haven’t seen it? Check it out below, but you may want to turn the lights on first.
Chills and goose bumps abound. This is one of the best horror shorts I’ve seen in a long time. It not only brings the scares in a big way, but it also tells a concise story in such a short amount of time. The two pint-sized actresses are so genuine and the effects are quite unsettling. The only thing that is troubling here the thought that expanding this neatly wrapped ghost story into a full-length feature might stretch and delude its impact. But that is contingent on the script, which Muschietti is writing himself. If there were one person who knows where the short should go in order to make it a feature, it would be the creator of the short.
The other big news here is that the film will star Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Coster-Waldau garnered quite a bit of buzz for his portrayal of the sinister Jamie Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones. He’s brilliant on that show and I’m excited to see him coming back to film as well. Chastain’s star is thoroughly on the rise of late. She’s turned up in The Debt, The Help, and Tree of Life. She has a powerful screen presence that only seems to increase from project to project. These are two sensational actors and their collective talent should serve them well while sharing the screen with supernatural specters and malevolent spirits.
Mama begins principle photography in Toronto in October.