Tigers Are Not Afraid is a Mexican crime fantasy film directed by Issa Lopez. The film is about a group of orphans who are on the run from the Mexican cartel, there is also a mythical supernatural element surrounding the lead character Estrella (Paola Lara) having 3 wishes that seemingly come true; leading to horrific consequences.
This film isn’t scary, when I first put it on, I was under the impression that Tigers Are Not Afraid was a horror film, how wrong I was. This film to sum up is an hour and a half in soul destruction, it is so sad, in near everyway. The real-world cartel drama is far more impactful than the supernatural elements, because cartels exist in real life and everything that the cartel does to the kids over the course of the film probably happens hundreds of times every day; it’s scary because its real.
The idea that none of the supernatural elements are real and are instead a way for the kids to cope with everything going on around them is very interesting. The film never comes out and says this is or isn’t what is happening, but it does elude to it several times.
Whenever any of the supernatural forces show up, the style of the film changes, pictures and images appear on walls, random colour cross the screen, I liked this stylistic choice and thought it gave the film a sense of originality as it was something I had ever seen before in a film.
This film is most certainly not for everyone as there are moments that are unrelentingly sad, horrible things happen to the kids in this film and that is really hard to watch. In the final conformation of the film we see the main boy get shot through the face, by the big bad drug lord and it is traumatising.
Overall, this film is something everyone should see once, it is beautiful and unique, but it is also soul destroying and tear provoking, so by all means watch it, but be warned it is not an easy watch.
The art style change.
The grim reality.
The horror doesn’t really work with the drama.
It is very unpleasant and hard to watch at times.
Reviewed by Luke