CULTURE SHOCK (2019) Reviews and overview

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‘Let freedom ring’

Culture Shock aka Into the Dark: Culture Shock is a 2019 American horror feature film directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero (making her feature debut) from a screenplay co-written with Efren Hernandez and James Benson. The movie stars Martha Higareda, Richard Cabral, Shawn Ashmore, Barbara Crampton and Creed Bratton.

Into the Dark is a horror event series from prolific producer Jason Blum’s independent TV studio. The series includes twelve feature-length episodes, with a new instalment released each month inspired by a holiday.


A young Mexican woman (Martha Higareda) in pursuit of the American dream, who crosses illegally into the United States only to find herself in an American nightmare…


“As a piece of entertainment, the story told isn’t completely factual, but one that manages to hit the nail on the head in terms of portraying the horrors that are happening at the border.” Sara Clements, Exclaim!

“Guerrero’s film embodies the brutal process immigrants must endure to find a better life, and also the processes working against them to ensure they assimilate entirely into American culture. The U.S. has never been a place where dreams come true. It has, for a long, long time, been a country where nightmares come alive to consume society whole.” C.H. Newell, Father Son Holy Gore

“There are strong elements of The Stepford WivesGet Out and Pleasantville in the piece with a dash of The Truman Show. Marisol and her fellow new arrivals seem to not remember what has gone before, their native language and what happened after the floodlights shone on them at the border.” Norm McGlashan, Flick Hunter

“A major factor in the popular and critical renaissance that horror is going through today is that the genre is the perfect medium for taking the unthinkable and forcing you to adopt a new perspective. Great horror puts you in the other person’s shoes; Culture Shock is wearing some damn nasty kicks. The cheeseburger and pizza dinner scenes are worth the price of admission alone.” Stuart D. Monroe, Horror DNA

” …more of the ending is clunky in terms of filmmaking and screenwriting than I was hoping for during the legitimately great first hour, but it’s not nearly drastic enough to sink the goodwill already generated by that point. A lot of that built-up goodwill comes from a truly great cast.” Brian Tallerico,

” …when it wants to be gross (like listening to and watching the robotic citizens of Cape Joy stuff food into their mouths) or wants to be in-your-face with violence (as in a third-act explosion of gore) it works. The world of Culture Shock always feels like a tangible B-movie nightmare, and it can be as visceral as it is thoroughly American.” Nick Allen,


Culture Shock aired on Hulu on July 4, 2019.


Director/co-writer Gigi Saul Guerrero has said:

As a Mexican immigrant, my goal in making this film was to portray the level of desperation and anxiety that comes with the crossing experience and give audiences something to think and talk about.

We are given the incredible privilege as filmmakers to create stories that bring about social awareness and change, and I am grateful for the opportunity and platform to share such a deeply personal one.

Filming locations:

Santa Clarita, California

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