Normally you would think horror films would do better in October around Halloween. However in recent years the trend has been these types of movies can be profitable year round. So far we’ve seen that continue in 2013 with the success of “Texas Chainsaw 3D,” which Universal hopes to mimic with today’s release their new thriller “Mama” from acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.
2012 was the year of Jessica Chastain. Having broken onto the scene in a big way with “The Help,” Chastain spent most of the past twelve months being recognized for her Oscar nominated role and then eventually for a second equally acclaimed performance in “Zero Dark Thirty.” Last week the Best Picture nominee expanded in wide release and topped the charts, but this week it has new competition from its versatile star’s latest role.
Chastain headlines “Mama,” which focuses on two girls who vanish into the woods after their father brutally kills their mother. 5 years later the girls are found in an abandoned cabin and returned to their uncle and his girlfriend who soon realize something else has returned with them!
del Toro is one of today’s most talented sci-fi/horror producers and each of his films attract a loyal following. He also usually gets a warm reception from critics which was again the case today as many seemed very pleased with the film.
“This is a picture about how a mother's love can be nourishing at its best but suffocating in the extreme. Chastain embraces that idea wholly, without squeezing the life out of it.” Stephanie Zacharek, Film.com
“The fact that Guillermo del Toro is an executive producer of Mama is a tip-off that this won't be just another horror film with misbehaving and soon-to-be-dismembered teenagers or a drooling, slime-soaked monster.” Leah Rozen, The Wrap
“‘Mama’ announces the arrival of a director who works unusually well with actors-the two children are truly scary-and who creates highly charged environments, effective sound designs and powerful fantasy sequences. Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
Director Andres Muschietti is also earning praise for his feature film debut, which he first filmed as a short in 2008. In fact it’s that collaboration between Muschietti and del Toro that has made this a front runner to top “Thirty” and the weekend’s other two new releases.
The newest tracking estimates for today from HSX.com have “Mama” coming in around $15-17 million, which is around $3-$4 million more than “Broken City” and “The Last Stand.” Yet it is still possible that number goes up as the January horror bump doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
“Mama” is in theaters today.
So what’s your take New York? Are you ready for another horror film? What’s your favorite del Toro movie? Hit the comments and let us know.