Everywhere you turn these days, you run into a project connected to Guillermo del Toro. From his much talked about decision to direct – and then not directThe Hobbit to his mystery-laden monster mash Pacific Rim, the man is known for being one of the busiest people in the business, and to a certain fanbase, he’s renowned for consistently delivering visually stunning, imaginative films like Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy films.

His latest production, Mama, looks to be no exception.

The film – written and directed by Andres Muschietti – centers on Lucas (Game of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Annabel (Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain), who adopt his young nieces. Having basically lived alone in the woods since birth, the girls are slow to adjust to life in their new home, and making matters worse, they claim that their mother’s spirit refuses to let them go. Strange things begin to happen, and before long, Annabel begins to suspect that something otherworldly is indeed at play.

We’ve already seen the eerie first trailer for the film, and now thanks to Slash Film, we have a closer look at what to expect from Mama. The premise seems familiar enough, as many horror films (including the recently released Sinister) have toyed with variations of the “haunted child” horror cliché. However, rather than become crippled by the weight that such an overused story conceit can bring to a cinematic experience, Mama – judging by the trailer, at least – appears to rise above it.

The film seems rife with suspense and dramatic tension, buoyed by what looks to be a strong lead performance by up-and-comer Chastain. With Neil Cross of TV’s Luther having assisted with the script, that atmosphere should lend itself to just the type of taut thrills the horror audience expects. It also doesn’t hurt that previous del Toro productions like The Orphanage and The Devil’s Backbone (which he also directed) have featured ghost stories involving young children in peril.

Of course, it’s too early to ascertain if Mama will deliver on the promise its trailer exhibits, but as of now, all signs point to a positive experience for moviegoers seeking a few solid scares.

Mama opens in theaters on January 18th, 2013.

Source: Slash Film