Chupacabra

An ancient Latin-American creature turns her sweet dreams into a nightmare.

Genre: Horror

Length: 4:41

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4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Attila Toth,

Director/s : Attila Toth, 

Writer/s : Attila Toth, 

Actor/s : Lucia France, 

 

Shadows under the bed

The Chupacabra, which means “goat sucker”, is a mythical monster from Latin America that feeds on livestock, notably goats. In this film, it seems to have got itself a taste for human flesh. Not that we see any blood – the film packs into its short timeframe unease turning to terror, but ends just before the inevitable carnage.

The exact nature of the monster doesn’t really matter, for what the film is really about is the childish dread of what might lurk under the bed, especially in an unknown place. And for the protagonist it is an unknown place, literally and figuratively. It’s her first night in her new flat. It’s the first night of her new life following her divorce. Facing an uncertain future alone, it’s no wonder that girlhood fears return.

Chupacabra is an object lesson in horror tropes, with a creepy soundtrack, objects moving in the background, and selective focus. Happily it foregoes the jump scare. There’s a mystery child too, a Latino, probably son of the previous tenant, who doubtless brought the Chupacabra into the flat. Or did it come in the open box on the kitchen worktop – a parting shot from her ex, maybe? There are more clues than explanations here, which is fine.

Chupacabra was made for fun, and has no pretensions to originality. It was all done on a shoestring budget, and if the camera isn’t quite up to low-light filming, that actually adds to the unsettling feel. It’s a miniature, concentrated version of The Babadook, a comparison which doesn’t flatter it.