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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)

Film Review: Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)

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“A haunting horror fairytale set against the backdrop of Mexico’s devastating drug wars; TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID follows a group of orphaned children who are unexpectedly given three magical wishes. As they run from the cartel that murdered their parents and the ghosts that haunt them, they must decide how to use this special gift to save their own lives and the people they love. Acclaimed by critics and filmmakers alike, Guillermo Del Toro has called TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID “an unsparing blend of fantasy and brutality, innocence and evil.”


Tigers Are Not Afraid. It takes your breath away.

Directed and written by, Issa Lopez (Ladies’ Night) Tigers Are Not Afraid is such a terrifying concept. The film starts with “Since the beginning of the drug war in 2006. 160,000 have been killed and 53,000 have disappeared in Mexico. Entire areas of some cities are turning into ghost towns.”

Issa Lopez tells this story with so much heart. It is a story that came from a lot of pain and heartache. She wanted something to come out of the darkness. A light to shine on a subject that we may never fully understand. Every day, every year children, teens and adults disappear but no one ever thinks about the children and what goes on. They often forget that kids understand more than people think.

Studies done on people who have been through horrible, traumatic events in life and they remember stuff from childhood and parents often think, how do they remember? The lives these kids have and the amount of strength to survive. This is a powerful film. Nery Arrendondo, Hanssel Casillas, Rodrigo Cortes, Paola Lara, Ianis Guerrero, and Tenoch Huerta star in this heavily dark film.

The kids are in school and they hear shooting, everyone is on the floor and they begin talking about fairy tales. The teacher hands her three pieces of chalk and tells her those are her wishes.

It hurts the soul. School has been suspended because of the shooting. The kids are sort of out there, just living. Shine (Juan Ramon Lopez) tell a story about a tiger that escaped and what he feeds on. The tiger seems to be the strength, a glimmer of hope. Issa Lopez does such a beautiful job with the writing and the shots. She tells a story that makes you think, it touches the nerves and wakes them up. The scenes with Estrella and her mother are powerful scenes. Her mother tells her she is a warrior not a princess. It’s a beautiful scene.

Estrella, Shine, Morro. These are kids who lost everyone. They are alone yet, brave. This a story that delivers a message. These children are forgotten and left behind. Tigers Are Not Afraid is a scary dark yet enlightening movie.

The kids wind up in this fairytale-like building and find fish that made the broken floor a new home. The creepy vine that follows Estrella and Rorschach images that appear on the walls of the building stand out. The effects and the reactions from the kids is profound.

There is so much imagination and care in this movie. Issa Lopez does a wonderful job of making you think while watching the movie. There are fairytale type terrors and the real-world situations seep into their lives. The bad guys in this movie torment these kids and hurt them.

Estrella (Paola Lara) is seeing things, horrible images. With trauma and PTSD these images and Estrella’s reaction is horrific. She repeats, “tigers are not afraid” over and over to herself. The kids try to get help from the police. Shine (Juan Ramon Lopez) tries to stop them. The police take off, they won’t help. These kids are survivors, they are warriors.

They are going to get Chino (Tenoch Huerta), the man who took everything from them. It doesn’t go as expected. Estrella needs help and she gets help and per usual, we learn the dead do tell tales. There may not be a knight in shining armor but, there are tigers. The overwhelming feeling of loss and strength. Tigers Are Not Afraid is a beautifully made film. The story, the scenes, the way Issa showed so many different levels of the characters.

The ending is powerful too, no spoilers, you need to watch Tigers Are Not Afraid. It takes your breath away.



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