When it comes to the films he produces but does not direct, Guillermo Del Toro
seems to enjoy helping young filmmakers to create "old-fashioned" genre films. Films like The Orphanage
, Julia's Eyes, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
, and even Splice
(to a point) seem to hearken back to an earlier era in which scares were classier, plots were simpler, and audiences were a lot more open to bumps in the night and playful chills. The producer's latest effort, an intermittently effective horror thriller called Mama, fits squarely among those other projects: it has a basic premise that won't win many awards for originality, but there's an attention to detail, several quiet moments of effective eeriness, and just enough earnest intent to push the flick across the finish line.
That's not to say that Andres Muschietti's Mama doesn't have a few shortcomings, but I'll take an old-school "creepy" thriller that