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Tigers Are Not Afraid(Vuelven)

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Mexico · 2017
1h 23m
Director Issa López
Starring Paola Lara, Juan Ramón López, Ianis Guerrero, Rodrigo Cortes
Genre Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

After her mother vanishes, 10-year-old Estrella joins a gang of street children and is granted three wishes. But wishes never come true the way you want them to. This devastating and genre bending horror-fairytale mixes elements of fantasy, horror, and magical realism, set against the backdrop of Mexico’s drug wars.

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What are critics saying?


Village Voice by April Wolfe

By telling this story through the children’s eyes with a magical-realism element, López makes the tragically unthinkable somehow more palatable.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Barry Hertz

The filmmaker has such a strong command of mood, character and performances – especially impressive given the age of her cast – that her world quickly, seductively overwhelms.


Film Threat by Bobby LePire

Tigers Are Not Afraid isn’t quite the masterful dark fairy tale it aspires to be. The humor is entirely unnecessary and tonally misplaced. But what it gets right, it does brilliantly. The acting is superb, the mix of fantasy and realistic drama is sublime, and the story is haunting and fascinating in equal measure.


Slant Magazine by Ed Gonzalez

It never resolves its commingling of the fanciful and the mundane into a particularly coherent argument about the legacy of trauma.


Wall Street Journal by Joe Morgenstern

It is by turns harrowing, affecting, unexpectedly funny, truly scary and fantastical. (The cinematographer was Juan Jose Saravia.) The fantasy grows overlush from time to time, but Ms. López has created an original work of art in genre disguise.


Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

The emotion and the horror might have taken still deeper root if the world of the movie felt less hectic and more coherently realized, if the supernatural touches and occasional jump scares welled up organically from within rather than feeling smeared on with a digital trowel.


The A.V. Club by Katie Rife

The Tigers’ rooftop hideout is like something out of Hook, and the film moves along at a brisk, Spielbergian clip; however, the combination of dark themes mixed with whimsical fantasy strikes a tone more similar to Guillermo del Toro’s early work.


TheWrap by Monica Castillo

Once the spell of Tigers Are Not Afraid ends and the credits roll, its story lingers in the air. It’s a story of sadness, loss and survival, a fairy tale tailor-made for our anxious times.

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