Shudder presents the emotionally hard-hitting supernatural thriller, Tigers Are Not Afraid, starring Paola Lara and Tenoch Huerta. Writer/director Issa Lopez’s captures a promising fantasy that works visually on many levels as a heartfelt coming-of-age tale, a horrifying fairytale, and a gritty urban drama.
Tigers Are Not Afraid is a moving portrait of the dire circumstances of the children left behind by Mexico’s brutal drug wars. Estrella (Paola Lara) is ten-years-old and alone. Given three magical wishes, she asks first that her missing mother come back, and she does…from the dead. Fearful of the ghost she believes she’s invoked, Estrella escapes to the streets and earns her way into a gang of other children, who have been orphaned by two young orphans on a supernatural-tinged flight from the cartel who killed their parents. But soon Estrella discovers you can never really leave the dead behind.
Here are 5 reasons why you should see Tigers Are Not Afraid on Shudder:
5) Paola Lara!
At such a young age, Paola Lara delivers a standout performance as the mentally tortured and strong-willed Estrella. Estrella (Lara) is forced to grow up as the brutality of the crime-ridden world sinks into her life, stripping the innocent child of her mother. Delivering a deeply moving performance, Lara is undeniably charismatic in the role that asks her to be vulnerable and determined.
4) Juan Ramón López!
As Shine, Juan Ramón López presents a traumatized character who is on the verge of breaking down from the cynicism of real life. While aiming the gun, Shine (López) struggles to hold the last bit of his childhood innocence. Shine may be an obnoxious jerk towards his gang and Estrella, but his tough exterior masks a frightened child.
3) Tenoch Huerta!
I am a huge fun of Tenoch Huerta, who delivered a knockout performance in Narcos: Mexico. Huerta doesn’t hold back on the abusive menace and unbridled fury lurking within Chino. Interestingly, all the adults in the Tigers Are Not Afraid are the antagonists, leaving only the children remaining as the last good souls.
2) Magical Realism!
These aren’t the kids from Stranger Things; these kids are from the poor lower class and they understand pop culture not from their classrooms, but from television. The cinematography by Juan Jose Savaia brings out the cheeky humor within Issa Lopez’s view of magical realism. I have no idea why there is a piano burning in the middle of the room, while the kids are talking, but it looks beautiful on camera.
1) Darkly Imaginative!
Incredibly heartbreaking, Tigers Are Not Afraid will definitely leave a beautiful scar on your emotions once you’ve finished watching. This is a gut-wrenching drama that doesn’t hold back.
Tigers Are Not Afraid is now available on Shudder.