I’ve never been really frightened by pale, gown-wearing, double-jointed ghostly figures who crawl out of televisions or demon-possessed characters who could probably land gigs as contortionists in Las Vegas reviews, but I’ll have to admit, as a horror/thriller movie fan, there is something about the “creepy kid genre” that I find disturbing.
Jessica Chastain, who earned Oscar nominations for her work in “The Help” (set in Mississippi) and the new film “Zero Dark Thirty,” will soon have two films in theaters simultaneously when Guillermo del Toro’s “Mama” is released Jan. 18 – another movie with creepy kids.
In it, Chastain plays a woman who finds herself caring for her significant other’s young nieces who were left alone to fend for themselves in the forest for five years after their parents died. But the movie asks the question: How alone were they?
The trailer looks interesting, but also looks like it relies on those familiar spooky contortionist creatures who, thanks to special effects, speed up and jump out at you. (For an example of what I’m talking about, check out the trailer below or follow this link to the short film by the same name that the movie was based on.) Because del Toro created such a uniquely scary world in “Pan’s Labyrinth” and an Oscar nominee signed up for the film, I’m willing to give it a chance.
According to IMDb.com, del Toro grew up in rather horrifying circumstances. He compared his strict Catholic grandmother to the Piper Laurie character in “Carrie” (her mom.) “His grandmother would require him to mortify himself in self-punishment, in one case placing metal bottle caps into his shoes so that the soles of his feet were bloodied while walking to school,” the site reports. “She also tried to exorcise him twice because of his persistent interest in fantasy and drawing monsters from his imagination.”
Del Toro is also quoted there saying: “When you have the intuition that there is something which is there, but out of the reach of your physical world, art and religion are the only means to get to it.” Check out the trailer for “Mama” below.