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Those in the Us will hopefully be terrified by Andres Muschietti’s upcoming horror effort, Mama, for all the right reasons come its release on the 18th January (we here in the UK have to wait until the 22nd February). The film, which stars Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, tells of Annabel and Lucas, a couple who are faced with the challenge of raising Lucas’ young nieces, who disappeared 5 years earlier along with their mother. Once the two young girls are found alive living in squalor in a cabin in the woods following the murder of her mother, the mystery of just how ‘alone’ they really were is soon to be answered…
Producer of the full-length feature, Guillermo del Toro, introduces Mushietti’s creepy short film which certainly shows why it caught his eye. Fingers crossed the film is better than Troy Nixey’s sleep-inducing Don’T Be Afraid Of The Dark, »
- Craig Hunter
(Above: ’Mama’ director Andrés Muschietti and Guillermo Del Toro)
I’m not sure how I got switched from the comics/action/tentpole guy to the horror guy, but when you get offered a set visit for a Guillermo Del Toro produced film, you go. Not to mention that this movie was the premiere English language film from Andrés Muchietti a director who wouldn’t be on IMDb at all if it wasn’t for his original “Mama” short and a position as a set production assistant on ‘Evita.’ Packing up for Toronto, I threw the short up on my laptop as I was packing. It was brief, it was creepy, it was insanely dark. I stopped packing, messed with my settings and found a brighter version.
‘Mama,” the short film is what sold Guillermo Del Toro on Andrés and his sister/creative partner Barbara and it’s what got me »
Aside from being the visionary writer-director behind the chilling yet gorgeous fantasy Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro has also become a prolific producer driven to foster new filmmaking talent, particularly within the realm of horror. Last year saw the release of Troy Nixey's twisted pixie tale Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, which delt Toro co-wrote and produced, and coming early next year, he'll be bringing Andres Muschietti's directorial feature debut, Mama, to theaters. Inspired by Muschietti's creepy Spanish short of the same name, (viewable here), Mama centers on Victoria and Lilly, two little girls who have had a rough childhood to say the least. The tragic day when their father murdered their mother, the two sisters took off into the wood and vanished. Their surviving uncle, Lucas, has been searching for them for five years when they are finally discovered, alive but practically feral. He and his »
When Guillermo Del Toro’s name is attached to any project, it brings high hopes and usually a fantastical gripping time. Sadly, last years earlier effort Don’T Be Afraid Of The Dark (directed by Troy Nixey), while looking epic and spectacular at times, was rather a damp squib. No matter though, as Del Toro is currently producing another creepy thriller, this time based on the acclaimed short film Mama by Andres Muschietti, who will also make his full-length feature film debut.
The film tells the unsettling story of two young girls who vanish in the woods on the day their mother is found murdered. After missing for five years they are rescued and begin a new life with a couple played by Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau but they will soon find that Mama may have never left them alone after all!
Check out this chilling new trailer and »
- Craig Hunter
This article originally appeared in If Magazine #142 (August-September 2011).
There is no more fertile territory than the mind of filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro . a place where grotesque and bizarre horror is regularly shaped into creatures never before seen on screen.
Films such as Pan.s Labyrinth, Hellboy and Blade II present entire worlds that shock as well as entertain by stretching the boundaries of the imagination. The 10-inch .homunculi. that populate Melbourne-filmed horror Don.t Be Afraid of the Dark . first inspired by the 1970s made-for-tv film of the same name . are just the latest in a long-line of creatures dredged from Del Toro.s mind.
The original telemovie used a variety of effects to shrink heavily-masked actors to pint-sized beings, which then terrorise a family who have moved into an old mansion.
- Brendan Swift
Audiences have a strong awareness of Guy Pearce, but are they ready to see him as an action hero? In “Lockout,” Pearce plays disgraced special agent Snow, forced on a suicide mission to rescue the President’s daughter from a riot happening outside of the Earth’s atmosphere in the middle of a dangerous space prison. But while Pearce’s wisecracking Snow gives and receives his share of punches, the actor wasn’t entirely certain at first that this would be an action-heavy role.
“I didn’t see a genre-oriented film, I just saw this interesting story,” Pearce told us in an interview this week. “And [Luc Besson] said, the guys [directors Steven St. Leger and James Mather] are keen to have him be humorous. He’s a bit of a smart-aleck. And I said, 'Oh, okay.' So I walked away with the script, had a read and thought, this is actually quite funny. This wasn’t what I pictured. »
- Gabe Toro
This is the Pure Movies review of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, directed by Troy Nixey, written by Guillermo del Toro and starring Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bruce Gleeson, Bailee Madison and Jack Thompson. The film was reviewed by Natalie Peck as part of Pure Movies' Frightfest coverage. This old-school haunted house fare is co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro, telling the story of Sally (newcomer Bailee Madison), a young girl sent to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) in an old mansion the couple are restoring. »
- Natalie Peck
Director: Troy Nixey. Review: Adam Wing. It’s not often a director gets the chance to go back and make a movie that inspired him growing up, but Guillermo del Toro was a big fan of the 1973 version of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, so I’m sure he was thrilled to be given the opportunity to co-write this latest remake. The original TV movie told the story of a young couple that inherit an old mansion occupied by small demon like creatures, goblins determined to make the wife one of their own. The remake puts less emphasis on the couple and follows events through the eyes of a daughter instead. Guy Pearce plays Sally’s father, with Katie Holmes filling the role left behind by his estranged wife. Sally’s parents have decided that she should live with her dad and his ‘young’ girlfriend for a while, »
To mark the release of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark on DVD and Blu-ray now, Studio Canal have given us three copies of the movie to give away on Blu-ray. The movie is written by Guillermo Del Toro Directed by Troy Nixey and stars Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison.
Something ancient and evil is alive in the darkness beneath the Blackwood Mansion. When young Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison: Just Go With It) arrives in Rhode Island to visit her father Alex (Guy Pearce: Animal Kingdom) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes: Batman Begins) at the Victorian mansion they are restoring, she already feels like an outsider and her ornate new home seems a cold and unwanted prison. Finding comfort and escape in her solitary exploration of the property, and despite the warnings of the caretaker Mr. Harris (Jack Thompson: The Good German), Sally embarks on an »
With gothic horror back in vogue at the moment, it comes as no surprise that writer and producer Guillermo Del Toro, always with one eye on the zeitgeist, has chosen to remake the 1973 TV movie Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, about a newly renovated house with a bad case of the gremlins. With the film, directed by comic book artist Troy Nixey making his debut feature released on Blu-ray and DVD this week, here is our review.
Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison), a young girl, moves to Rhode Island to live with her distant father, Alex (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend, Kim (Katie Holmes) in the 19th century gothic mansion they are restoring. While exploring the house, Sally starts to hear voices coming from creatures in the basement whose hidden agenda is to claim her as one of their own.
Opening in suitably shocking fashion with a short »
- Chris Wright
A magnificent and ancient house is bought up for redevelopment by a young couple hoping to sell it along and make their fortune. The couple arrive at the house with the father’s young daughter struggling to come to terms with her new step mother and their spooky new abode, and then there’s the whispering coming from the walls, and the hidden basement littered with human teeth. All is not well, and things are about to get a lot worse. Stop me when this sounds familiar won’t you?
Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes lead the cast as the housebound couple and Bailee Madison does well as Pearce’s daughter and the focus of the nastiness which ensues. It’s no great leap to realise that she is the one who unleashes the trouble and the early scenes are well handled with the introduction to the house and its »
- Jon Lyus
If you want to know just how thoroughly rotten Michael Bay's infernal Transformers films really are, then look no further than Real Steel (2011, Buena Vista, 12A), a guilty pleasure that demonstrates perfectly how a movie about robots hitting each other should be made. While Bay failed spectacularly over the course of three movies (a fourth instalment is, depressingly, on the way) to conjure up anything vaguely resembling either story or characters, jobbing hack Shawn Levy, whose CV includes such underwhelming fare as Night at the Museum and Date Night, hits the nail right on its metal head on both counts.
While the writing credits may acknowledge Richard Matheson's "Steel" (previously filmed as a Twilight Zone episode in 1963), this shameless crowd-pleaser owes a greater debt to the fists aloft underdog mantra of Rocky. »
- Mark Kermode
Don’T Be Afraid Of The Dark
When young Sally comes to stay with her father and his girlfriend in the mansion they’re renovating, she encounters evil creatures with a taste for human teeth… From the mind of Guillermo Del Toro comes a remake of the 1973 TV movie of the same name. Why remake something so obscure? It turns out that Del Toro and his brothers were terrified by the original in its day, and for many years since then he’s been trying to get his remake off the ground.
In Del Toro’s hands – and let’s be clear at this stage that he didn’t direct the film, but wrote and produced – Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark becomes a twisted fairy tale, putting a dark twist on the tooth fairy myth, »
We have three copies of the Blu-ray to give away.
Something ancient and evil is alive in the darkness beneath the Blackwood Mansion. When young Sally Hurst (Bailee Madison: Just Go With It) arrives in Rhode Island to visit her father Alex (Guy Pearce: Animal Kingdom) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes: Batman Begins) at the Victorian mansion they are restoring, she already feels like an outsider and her ornate new home seems a cold and unwanted prison. Finding comfort and escape in her solitary exploration of the property, »
- Matt Holmes
In Part One of our epic two-part sort-of wrap-up to the Fantasia Film Festival here in Montreal, we take on a motley crew of some of the most-discussed genre movies on display. First up: Mike Flanagan’s Absentia, a moody, microbudget thriller partially funded through Kickstarter; Troy Nixey’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, a remake of the 1973 TV Movie, brought to you in part by Guillermo del Toro; Ti West’s divisive chiller The Innkeepers; and lastly an interview with Sweden’s Philip Tegstedt on his psychological thriller Marianne.
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Chicago – Just as Peter Jackson’s adaptation of “The Lovely Bones” suffered from visual over-saturation, writer/producer Guillermo del Toro’s remake of John Newland’s 1973 TV movie succumbs to ineffectual excess. As soon as its fearsome creatures appear for longer than a flash frame, they instantly lose their scare-factor. Didn’t del Toro and his crew learn anything from “Signs”?
Audiences have become so accustomed to the fluid movement of computer animation that it has lost its power to truly terrify. The fantastical beings in del Toro’s 2006 masterpiece, “Pan’s Labyrinth,” benefited from fusions of intricate costumes and nearly seamless digitalized details. It’s clear that the filmmaker is most skilled at making creature features, yet his unrestrained approach is all wrong for “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” which is a thriller that’s meant to play on the mind.
Blu-ray Rating: 2.0/5.0
Admittedly, del Toro’s »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Sometimes not showing the monstrous menace threatening to devour or maul the family living in an old mansion is more effective at inspiring fear than showing them as goofy rat monsters with opposable thumbs and a primitive knowledge of spear chucking. For the sake of discussing the 2010 remake of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark by Director Troy Nixey, let’s say that these rat creatures are in fact funny and not hilariously ill-conceived, and then let’s assume that a rational human being has more than just a derisive snort saved up for the fate of a family that thinks it wise to stay in a house where little beasties run rampant without making effective use of that enemy’s well-documented weakness. Right off the bat, those are two rather large concessions, and they’re perhaps too big to make for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark »
- Lex Walker
Horror master Guillermo Del Toro's remake of Don.t Be Afraid of the Dark doesn.t give you many reasons to actually be afraid, but the film does manage to entertain with a jump or two. Technically, Del Toro only co-wrote and produced the film, but his fingerprints are all over the movie thanks to its moody-feeling house (filled with odd carved stairs and doors) and dark fairy tale storyline (complete with a very nasty version of the tooth fairy). Based on the 1973 television movie (written by Nigel McKeand), Del Toro.s updated version was co-written by Matthew Robbins (who co-wrote the screenplay for Mimic with Del Toro in 1997) and directed by Troy Nixey (who co-created the comic »
- Patrick Luce
I have a fantasy that in another universe, Troy Nixey's remake of the 1973 made-for-tv creature feature Don't Be Afraid of the Dark would have itself made its debut on TV, maybe a kids' cable network like Nickelodeon or Disney and it would have been the kind of movie that haunts kids until they're adults, one of those shared "remember how messed up that movie was" experiences that follows a generation. It would be shown as a double feature on Halloween night with the likes of Monster House, and would have an eternal spot on the rotation of autumnal horror for kids. Of course, my fantasy only works if some minor edits snip out a little bit of gore here and there, but at its »
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark has just been released to Blu-ray/DVD this week and we’ve been provided with an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip to share with our readers. Hear what Guillermo del Toro and Troy Nixey have to say about the lore behind the creatures from the film:
“Katie Holmes (Batman Begins, Jack and Jill), Guy Pearce (The King’s Speech, HBO’s “Mildred Pierce”) and Bailee Madison (Just Go With It) star in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, the frightening horror film from Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) debuting on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital January 3rd from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. When she moves in with her father (Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Holmes), Sally (Madison) starts to hear voices coming from creatures in the basement. Blu-ray and DVD bonus materials include the three-part making-of documentary that explores “The Story,” “Blackwood’s Mansion, »
- Jonathan James
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