A MOTHER’S LOVE IS FOREVER.
Five years after a distraught man kidnaps his two young children and disappears, the girls are found abandoned in an old cabin… but they were never quite alone… In his feature film debut, director Andy Muschietti adapted a short he made in 2008. The results are both scary and even a bit touching, perhaps unexpectedly so since when it comes down to it this is another ghost story that loses steam toward its climax. Still, for the most part the filmmakers are in full command, making us both fear and care for the ghost as well as her potential victims. Good cast, very effective shocks in 3D and well told and staged by the filmmakers.
2013-Spain-Canada. 100 min. Color. Produced by J. Miles Dale, Barbara Muschietti. Directed by Andy Muschietti. Screenplay: Neil Cross, Andy Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti. Cast: Jessica Chastain (Annabel), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Lucas/Jeffrey), Megan Charpentier (Victoria), Isabelle Nélisse, Daniel Kash, Javier Botet.
Trivia: Co-executive produced by Guillermo del Toro.
Last word: “We came up with the story together, over a couple of sessions. But that element, which is strange as hell, came from [the Muschiettis]. They didn’t know I was doing that in ‘Don’t Be Afraid’. I didn’t tell them I would love to do that. The big difference for me was that, from the moment we started, and Jessica [Chastain] was so happy about it, was that she never becomes a mother. She becomes a fellow female. There’s solidarity. But, she never becomes a mother figure. Literally, it’s the story of a woman struggling with motherhood. It’s hand-to-hand combat with motherhood. It’s the idea that there are other alternatives to the love of a mother, in the way we see the world. It’s about her making peace with the fact that she can love someone, and love in a protective way, but not in a suffocating way. It’s really, really interesting that they have similarities, but I think it came from the fact that ultimately I only produce directors and movies that I have a lot in common with.” (del Toro, Collider)