January is typically known as a menu of mainly bland horror offerings, but this year we have Guillermo del Toro to thank for bringing us the haunting ghost tale, Mama. Although he produced and did not direct Mama, fans of the visionary’s work will still certainly appreciate a del Toro horror film with some bold spice, which should whet their appetites for Pacific Rim‘s opening in July.

The premise – involving two sisters who are haunted by their deceased mother – may be pretty similar to many classic ghost stories, but after getting a look at the latest trailer for the film, we can honestly say there are some genuine scares. This week we got a look at the short film that inspired the feature length version of Mama with a introduction from del Toro.

Like the trailer, the short film is very brief, but packs plenty of scares and some truly creepy imagery, creating a terrifying one-shot scene that del Toro says is “One of the scariest little scenes I have ever seen.”

Jessica Chastain in ‘Mama’

We only get a glimpse of the mother in the trailer, but in the short film, she is in full view and her look and her lightning-fast movements are quite jarring. Considering Andres Muschietti directed the feature-length version of his own short and with del Toro’s imprint clearly visible, we can expect the ghostly mama will be equally, or perhaps even more hauntingly terrifying on the big screen.

The film’s appeal is further bolstered by its adult leads -Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain (The Help) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) – who have also helped the film land on our 10 Movies We’re Looking Forward To list for January.

So, it seems that we may have a January horror hit on our hands, but will it be a gratifying beginning to 2013 for the genre? Go see Mama for yourself when it hits theatres on January 18th.

Source: Universal Pictures