“Chupa” Movie Review

Story posted April 20, 2023 in

The new Netflix release “Chupa” did not live up to its expectations. It was directed by Jonás Cuarón, a relatively new director in the industry.

The film follows a boy named Alex (Evan Whitten) who goes to stay with his Abuelo (Demián Bichir) in Mexico. His two cousins from the city, Luna (Ashley Ciarra) and Memo (Nikolas Verdugo), also come to stay for the week.

On the other side of things, a man named Richard Quinn (Christian Slater) is involved in an investigation into the chupacabra.

The chupacabra ends up finding Alex and his family and they all befriend him by giving him the name Chupa - very creative.

This obvious plot continued with the “dangerous” chase by Quinn and his crew for Chupa which ended in a battle of sorts.

The CGI used for Chupa was hit or miss. Sometimes it looked really cool and sometimes it looked awful.

Plus the chupacabra was also not a cute little creature like in the trailer. It was a little frightening.

However, the story doesn’t fail to add Mexican culture with Abuelo being a former Lucha libre champion. The only problem is that the detail is very surface-level throughout, like a passing comment.

This film was just simply underdeveloped. The cinematography looked decent, but the actual story was terrible.

So many things were happening within multiple plotlines, but they never came back up to add any true relevance.

An attempt they made was with Alex’s Gameboy. It was meant to be a comforting shield when he felt sad or uncomfortable.

It was brought up a few times throughout but didn’t resonate with the viewer. Like a cliche, in the end, he gives up the GameBoy to his Abuelo.

What is his Abuelo going to do with the GameBoy?

One of the worst details was that Memo only spoke in Spanish. Of course, speaking Spanish is perfectly fine for a movie set in Mexico, but everyone else spoke English. It was too forced.

Another poor execution was the character trait of Abuelo having Alzheimer’s. The kids were pretty manipulative when it came to the disease.

For example, when they were hiding Chupa, they made him think he was going crazy.

Luna also lied to the doctor just so they could keep the farm. On top of that, she taught herself how to drive his car for when he’d go missing. It was an all-around unhealthy situation.

For a PG-rated movie, it was hard to follow for younger viewers. Having watched it with a six-year-old who couldn’t understand what was happening was rough.

He ended up drawing dinosaurs even though he was right next to the tv. Highly uninterested.

He couldn’t read the subtitles fast enough whenever Memo spoke - let alone could he read them at all. Then having to explain what was said every time became really annoying.

The target audience was not reached. Nay, it was reached, but the audience was not entertained.

Overall, this film was not worth the time spent watching it. Its entire concept was lacking. It lacked originality, engagement, and fun.

Don’t recommend this film unless chupacabras or poor plotlines pique your interest.

Rating: 1/5

Isabel Sweet is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email ips5219@psu.edu.