- Published on Thursday, September 13 2012
- Written by Katie Marzullo
A while back, someone sent me a link to the 2008 short film "Mamá", which was, at the time, being developed by Guillermo Del Toro into a feature film. Less than three minutes later, I had to change my knickers.
The Spanish-language film, directed by Andres Muschietti, clocks in at a mere 02:55, but it packs quite a punch. Basically, two young girls are menaced by an entity which they refer to as “mamá”. But whatever this thing actually is, maternal instincts are nowhere to be found, I can assure you. It’s horror/suspense filmmaking at its best, and it was (evidently) shot in just one long, sweeping take. Even within such a limited timeframe, a voluminous story seems to unfold.
Del Toro seemed to agree, which is why he decided to adapt the mini screamfest into a full-length feature film and explore his own take on the story. And because Del Toro gets shiz done, y’all, there is already a trailer out! (which you can watch via Apple)
Starring the omnipresent Jessica Chastain, Del Toro transforms the two haunted little girls into a couple of feral children, having lived in the woods for five years following the death of their family. But, apparently, they weren’t alone in that forest… Chastain and her hubby agree to adopt the girls and re-acclimate them to indoor life, and they unwittingly invite this entity known as “Mama” to come live with them too, with less benevolent results.
Unlike the short film, this trailer looks like your standard horror movie fare. But trailers can often be misleading, and since Del Toro rarely disappoints, this might be worth checking out after all. The very idea of the spirit of one’s mother actually being a force of EVIL is an intriguingly counterintuitive concept, especially in the framework of this film, where Chastain attempts to be the mother-figure to these two disturbed children. Del Toro may very well have taken a simple 3-minute film intended to simply wet the pants of all who see it into something a little more rich and complex.
We’ll find out for sure when Mama hits theatres in January. In the meanwhile, check out Muschietti’s original short below (if you dare!!!):
- Katie Marzullo, YH Staff Editor
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