MONSTERZERO NJ’S 10 MEXICAN HORROR FILMS TO WATCH ON CINCO DE MAYO!!!
The annual celebration of the fifth of May reminds us of all the wonderful things that come from Mexican culture…including some great horror films! So, without further ado, here are 10 Mexican horror films to watch on Cinco de Mayo!
A ghostly boy from Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone
I will give credit where credit is due, there are a few creepy moments in Adrián Garcia Bogliano’s horror flick and there is a pervading atmosphere, but for the most part, it’s a crude, dull and sometimes vulgar little movie that left me wondering what all the fuss was about. The story has two parents, Felix and Sol (Francisco Barreiro and Laura Caro) who, while on a day trip with their two kids, Adolfo and Sara (Alan Martinez and Michele Garcia) let the kids wander off to explore a rocky hill while they fool around in the car… nice parents! The kids vanish and locals claim the area that they disappeared in is cursed, but the two are found by police the next morning and returned to their folks seemingly unharmed. Soon strange behavior starts to occur and when examined, doctors seem to feel there has been sexual assault. This leads the parents to suspect an odd local man seen nearby and after the kids freak out upon seeing the man, indicating to the angry parents that he was the culprit, Felix and Sol savagely murder him in a rage. But the strange behavior with their children continues and they start to leave school to return to the rocky hill and a cave at it’s top. There is paranormal activity going on in the house, too and now the terrified parents must deal with the increasing implications that their children may no longer be who they seem and that they might have murdered an innocent man. For a far more supernatural fiend may be the real culprit and it may not be done with them.
As said, Bogliano does give this film a steady and spooky atmosphere and there are some effective moments, one in particular that involves a babysitter, though they all come in the last act and are not consistent enough to make it worth sitting through a fairly dull first hour. Even the murder of the pervy Lucio (David Arturo Cabezud) comes across as overdone and loses it’s impact as it seems a little too vicious and graphic considering these are supposed to be two normal parents not the Manson family. But vulgar seems to be Bogliano’s style as illustrated by the graphic opening sex scene between two lesbians, which barely has any relevance to the plot and the equally and unnecessarily graphic scene between Felix and Sol in the car, while their kids are getting lost. It just seems vulgar for vulgars sake. When the film finally gets to the supernatural stuff, after an hour of brooding concerned parents being quizzical over their now zombie-like children, it’s impact is lessened by some cheesy levitation FX and a laughable 80s death metal, music video-style montage when the babysitter is explaining what happen to her with the kids. It’s the film’s most disturbing scene, yet even it is robbed of it’s strength by an over-indulgent director showing off his film school camera tricks. Most disappointing thing is that Bogliano shows some potential with the pervading creepiness the film has, but he doesn’t follow it up with much interesting and when his film does start to get weird and disturbing, it doesn’t last and he wraps it up with a completely predictable ending.
The cast are OK, but none of them really gives us strong work, the parents in particular are not very likable or sympathetic, and the kids are basically supposed to act like zoned-out zombies so, we don’t get much from them. The film’s overall look is kinda grimy and sleazy like an old style grind house soft-core porn flick and maybe that was the goal as the film seems to wallow in sleazy moments instead of telling it’s story. Did we need to see the lengthy scene of the nude parents showering Lucio’s blood off themselves?
In conclusion, the film is an overrated and tedious movie with an atmosphere that is equal parts sleazy and creepy. The flick never really gets going and squanders the few effective scenes it has. Not sure what all the fuss was about. Very overrated.