Thursday, January 10, 2013

If the Feature's Half as Good...

Writer/Director/Producer Guillermo del Toro has a pretty good track record when it comes to genre films (despite the fairly crappy 2010 remake of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark). His next directorial effort is the Kaiju vs Giant Robots epic Pacific Rim, which looks like it's going to be a sort of Godzilla vs Transformers through the eyes of a mad Mexican genius. And while Blade II was amazing; both Hellboy films were visually stunning and Pan's Labyrinth was absolutely devastating, del Toro hardly has a perfect track record.

Well before Pacific Rim is released, del Toro produced the forthcoming ghost movie Mama. Based on a short film from brother/sister team Adres and Barbara Muschietti, Mama is the story of two young girls who witness their parents' murder and spend the next five years not-quite-alone in the woods. Returned to civilization under the care of their uncle ("Game of Thrones" alum Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his wife (recent Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain, looking very different with short, brunette hair), the girls may have brought 'something' along with them...

Traditionally, early-in-the-year films aren't the best of what the studios have to offer. Invested in their late-year Oscar hopefuls, most studios dump the movies in which they have the least faith off in late January and February, hoping to make a quick buck off of opening weekend receipts. And while I fear this may well be the case with Mama, the short on which it is based gives me some hope:

While Chastain may have proven herself in films like The Help and Zero Dark Thirty, that doesn't mean everything she's in is a gem. And del Toro (best known for the 2006 atmospheric fantasy Pan's Labyrinth) has made and/or produced some of the genre's recent best films (The Devil's Backbone; The Orphanage), flops like Don't Be Afraid of the Dark give me reason to pause. Personally, Uncle P will probably wait to see Mama either OnDemand or on cable, unless Dear D or one of my other horror-loving friends wants to see it on-screen.

Any real writer familiar with the English language knows that "unexplainable" isn't a real word. "Inexplicable," however, is. But then, I may just be a picky a-hole...

More, anon.

No comments: