There’s a certain kind of Hollywood journalist who gets very, very excited by big box-office earnings. You can almost hear the panting as the probable first-weekend earnings, per-screen averages and total domestic grosses are reported. You could be forgiven, in fact, for presuming that the author owns stock in the distribution company behind the hit-to-be, and that a fat dividend check will soon be deposited in his/her account. If you’re that kind of trade reporter or tabulator, the projected earnings for Andres Muschietti and Stephen King‘s It — a first-weekend haul of at least $50 million, according to tracking — will do the trick.
Another way to feel the excitement is to feign indifference to grosses and just concentrate on the film, as I was doing a few months ago, and ask whether director Andres “Andy” Muschietti would deliver the same kind of carefully measured, less-is-more chills that Mama, his last film, had in spades.
Posted on 5.11.17: “Yes, it looks like a retread, a Stand By Me ensemble threatened by a demonic Clarabelle. But something tells me that It (9.8.17, Warner Bros., New Line) may be up to something good. I’m basing this suspicion partly on the last two-thirds of the new trailer, and partly on the fact that it might be Son of Mama. Or more preciselt Son of Mama meets Stephen King.
From Todd McCarthy’s 1.15.13 Hollywood Reporter review of Mama:
“Being sold primarily on the name of its godfather, Guillermo del Toro, this Canadian-Spanish co-production from Universal is refreshingly mindful of the less-is-more horror guidelines employed by 1940s master Val Lewton, not to mention Japanese ghost stories, but the PG-13 rating might prove too restrictive for the gory tastes of male core genre fans.
“In essence, Mama represents a throwback and a modest delight for people who like a good scare but prefer not to be terrorized or grossed out. With fine special effects and a good sense of creating a mood and pacing the jolts, [Andres] Muschietti shows a reassuringly confident hand for a first-time director, pulling off some fine visual coups through smart camera placement and cutting, and not taking the whole thing so seriously that it becomes overwrought.”