This has been a great year for horror movies, with ‘Smile’, ‘Nope’ and ‘Barbarian’ being some of the most prominent titles. As for Mexico, we have to talk about ‘Mal de ojo’, the Isaac Ezban film that would vindicate the national horror cinema.
When we talk about Mexican horror movies, we immediately think of titles like alucarda by Juan Lopez Moctezuma, Even the wind is afraid by Carlos Enrique Taboada or holy blood by Alejandro Jodorowsky, tapes made before the start of the new century. Since then, the stories that have truly produced horror in the audience have been told, an example of this is Vuelven de Issa López or Somos lo hay de Jorge Michel Grau, Mal de ojo being the great surprise of the year that confirms that there are great exponents of the genre in the country.
Isaac Ezban Presents The evil eyea feature film in which Nala (Paola Miguel), a 13-year-old girl who is forced to travel to the town of her grandmother (Ofelia Medina) in order to find a cure for the strange illness of her sister, Luna (Ivanna Sofia). Ferro). Their stay in the house will become a chaotic nightmare, where the little ones will face mysterious events until they discover Josefa’s terrible plans.
A STORY WORTH TELLING
Despite the fact that other filmmakers have explored sorcery and the witch hunt, very few have taken the occult to its maximum splendor, managing to create an atmosphere of terror and incomprehension, as we saw with The Witch by Robert Eggers, Suspiria by Luca Guadagnino or hereditary by Ari Aster. Ezban was attracted by a peculiar history of the Dominican Republic and introduced for the first time the Bakah, a vile creature that unleashes the evils of a family and silently expands to affect the community.
The story has a solid script that plays with the viewer’s mind and recovers the darkest characteristics of witches, women condemned to cause terror due to their great power. In addition It should be noted that the makeup and construction of the creatures, an impressive job by robert ortiz (Hell), who managed to give life to these frightening beings from the imagination of Ezban, who of course was also inspired by the filmography of Guillermo del Toro, the Mexican who has stood out this year for his animated film, pinocchio.
Director of the similar It breaks with the traditional narratives of supernatural beings, haunted houses or exorcisms that had been perpetuated in contemporary horror productions and takes up a subgenre that has been absent in the country in recent years: witchcraft. And we mention it because after its precursors, Venom for the fairies of Taboada and Aunt Alexandra by Arthur Ripstein, very few feature films have managed to reach that level of mysticism and horror inspired by Latin American folklore.
This is a good time to mention Bonemaker, Michelle Garza Cervera’s debut feature in which, through chilling apparitions and sororous covens, she reflects on motherhood, breaking some family taboos. Despite the fact that the film was praised by critics and has been presented at other festivals, it did not have a theatrical release, unlike Ezban’s work, which was on the billboard for more than five weeks, exceeding the exhibition time of other commercial Mexican productions.
According to figures from the National Chamber of the Film Industry (Canacine), The evil eye it was the third highest-grossing film of 2022 in the country and the first in the horror genre. they follow her The exorcism of God, the exorcist Y karem possession, three films about demonic possession. Of course the story stands out above all the others, since it presents something different where it masterfully explores one of the most legendary collective fears.
EVIL EYE, A STORY OF WITCHCRAFT THAT TRANSCENDS
The evil eye not only did it present a story of witches in a current context that constantly plays with the past, but it is also a film that has transcended off-screen, since it is one of the few Mexican productions that has been activated outside of theaters. It had a special exhibition at Six Flags, the amusement park in Mexico City. The attraction consisted of a little house of terror where you could find exclusive items from the shoot while being chased by the fearsome witch.
At the moment the film has been translated into other languages, opening in countries such as Vietnam and Russia, as well as various regions in Latin America. The good acceptance has caused its premiere to be delayed in streaminga similar effect that occurred with black phonesince due to the great success at the box office it has not been transferred to any platform.
Because the feature film was shot in Mexico, it allows you to recognize some places in the city capital, creating the feeling that a bakah could be sheltered anywhere in our daily lives. A thought that surely left you uneasy after leaving the cinema, making the story remain in your memory and why not, in your most sinister nightmares.
With this, Isaac Ezban positions himself as one of the most relevant filmmakers in the genre, who has shown that there is an interest in innovating narratives. Guillermo del Toro himself warned that more stories are needed away from Omar Chaparro or Eugenio Derbez if we want national cinema to continue growing and the director of The incident is a great example of this. If you’re a fan of horror, you could give Joshua Gil’s Sanctorum and Joaquin del Paso’s The Hole in the Fence a try, two proposals that were forgotten this year.