“Horror” is one of the main movies categorie, consumed by the mexican audience, yet, in reality mexican horror movies are not associated in the world as high quality films. Jorge Ayala Blanco said once that the problema is “its scattered thematics, in a universal literature chaos, of classic horror and national leyends”, and the truth is he was and still is right, in most of the films there is not a clear theme and horror cliches are mixed with urban leyends from other countries, wich is why we cannot create an original high quality film that appeals to our mexican audience. Still, we should remember that in the 60s and 70s in Mexico, we had what could be named “The Horror Movies Golden Age”, starting with the master piece and already classic “Macario” (1960) where it was proven that the formula for success is appealing to the fears of the society the film was made for. Unfortunately this “formula” was not exploited immediately and there were still made several bad horror films after Macario.
If you wanna get this 1953 novel on which is based Macario, click here.
But someone did learned the lesson, his name was Carlos Enrique Taboada, the best acclaimed mexican director from the gender, who managed, within a decade, to prove that Mexicans can make high quality horror movies as well. The key of his success was, once again, that he did not rely on horror cliches or other countries proven formulas, and he incorporated the supernatural world with phsycological horrors and traumas, mixing the everyday world with extraordinary events, creating amazing films, such as: “Hasta el viento tiene miedo” (“Even the wind is afraid” – 1967), (if you want this DVD click here) “El libro de piedra” ( “The Stone Book” -1969), “Más negro que la noche” (“Black as Night” – 1975), and my personal favorite, “Veneno para las hadas” (“Poison for Fairies” – 1984).
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and in the 80s, 90s and 2000s there was a lack of good horror movies in the country again, with very limited exceptions, such as “El Espinazo del Diablo” (“The Devil`s Backbone”) directed and writen by Guillermo del Toro in 2001, (If you want this DVD click here) and the one I consider to be the best Mexican horror movie that has been made lately, “Somos lo que hay” (“We are what we are”) in 2010, where a true crime mexican story, the serial killer known as “El Caníbal de la Guerrero” (“The Cannibal”), was taken as inspiration for the film.
But dont worry, not everything is lost, today a new light appears in the darkness of bad films, the director, writer and mexican producer named Isaac Ezban, who is elevating Mexican horror movies to a whole new level, betting on phsycological terror that lingers long after the movie is over, instead of the easy scream scenes. His opera prima, “El Incidente” (“The Incident” 2014), (If you want this DVD click here) was premiered at the “Cannes Film Festival” and was present in over 40 film festivals, terrifying all of the viewers with a very original script that redefines the concept of infinity. Since then, Ezban has produced many acclaimed films including: “Los Parecidos” (“The Similars” 2015) and “Parallel” (2016).
I invite all of you to not let the bad horror films overshine the good ones, and if you havent seen the movies I mention you above, go look for them now, and give them a chance, I´m sure you wont regret it. Horrifying Nights to ya all!