Chupa (2023) Movie Review
Netflix recently released Chupa, a film about the Chupacabra, a winged mythological creature that sucks the blood of livestock in parts of America. For those of us who experienced the 80s, this film will bring us nostalgia for those times. The period in which children’s films gained their place and many films were seriously worked on, some of which even became the best films of their era. Just say it ET the Extra Terrestrial (1982) or gremlins (1984).
But this time we will see the latest interpretation of Jonas Cuaron, son of the legendary director Alfonso Cuaron. Previously Jonas was also involved in writing gravity (2013) which was directed by his father. But deep Chupa, Jonas seems to want to return to the golden days of the 80s, and bring back memories of that time through entertaining children’s films. It’s rare now that we find films like this on the market, and Steven Spielberg used to be the pioneer of a number of the films mentioned above.
Chupa 2023 Synopsis
Set in San Javier, Mexico in 1996, some people find a Chupa/Chupacabra cub in its nest. Chupa’s child is then saved by his mother before being caught by Richard Quinn (Christian Slater), a dangerous scientist who wants to catch the animal to take its blood for strength.
Unfortunately, Chupa’s mother managed to escape but the child slipped from her grasp. From there the story will move to Kansas City, when Alex (Evan Whitten), a shy 13 year old boy, will fly to Mexico to meet his extended family for the first time. There he meets his grandfather and former lucha libre wrestling champion Chava (Demián Bichir), his wrestling-obsessed cousin Memo (Niccolas Verdugo), and his fearless cousin Luna (Ashley Ciarra).
But just as Alex is starting to settle in there, he finds Chupa’s missing child under his grandfather’s shed. Richard soon found out where Chupa was and started chasing Chupa’s child with his team. Will he succeed in chasing that Chupa?
Chupa Movie Review
Chupa’s cute and colorful visualization
So far, no one knows how the original shape of the chupacabra and its true color. According to some sources, the physical appearance of the chupacabra is not the same in several countries. Some describe it as reptilian and alien-like (in Puerto Rico and Latin America), generally as a creature about the size of a small bear with rows of spines extending from its neck to the soles of its feet to its tail. Others have described it as more like a dog.
In this film, Jonas depicts this figure in the final version by using his own color palette to make Chupa more child-friendly. The palette of light brown fur as the base color with accents of bluish fur, has wings with a face like a friendly dog will certainly make it easier for children to like this film.
The narrative is easy for children to digest
Story Chupa it’s not complicated, the narrative is very typical of 80s children’s films which emphasize personal interactions between the creature and the main character. Of course accompanied by the adventures between Alex and his cousin, also the chase action is a mandatory thing that we can find in films like this. Apart from being easy to digest, Chupa it really has a Mexican feel to it. As if confirming that the Chupacabras came from that country, as well as emphasizing to Alex, who really hated the land of his late father’s birth, to be able to love him again through his grandfather and cousin.
Not all of the role characterizations fit
Overall, this film is not as good as its predecessor, which has deep dialogue and emotions between the main character and his creatures. Evan Whitten who plays Alex still looks stiff in his role as Alex. His two cousins, Memo (Nickolas Verdugo) and Luna (Ashley Ciarra) played a more interesting role.
Demián Bichir, who usually appears serious in many of his films, manages to portray the grandfather who is also a former Mexican wrestler. His presence gives warmth and becomes a central figure for Alex to be better. An inappropriate role was shown by Christian Slater who played Richard Quinn. He looks “too cute” to appear as a villain. Its character baby face from ancient times, it was indeed a bit difficult to be a ruthless and ruthless bad person. His ruthlessness practically only appears from the dialogue he throws, not from his physique, gestures and demeanor.
Presence Chupa very entertaining, especially for those who like 80s children’s films that are warm and full of family. The simplicity of the story also makes films like this suitable for viewing by all ages. The drawbacks are also very minor, and it’s interesting to see children’s adventures with mythological animals that are transformed into pets at home. Chupa very fitting to fill a niche that has rarely been touched by filmmakers, especially for children’s films.