TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID (2017) Reviews and overview

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Tigers Are Not Afraid is a 2017 Mexican horror film about a gang of five children trying to survive the violence of the cartels and the ghosts created every day by the drug war.

Written and directed by Issa López, the Filmadora Nacional-Peligrosa production stars Paola Lara, Juan Ramón López, Hanssel Casillas, Rodrigo Cortes, Ianis Guerrero and Tenoch Huerta.


Tigers Are Not Afraid premiered at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas on 24 September 2017.

In the USA, Shudder will release the film theatrically in New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto on August 23, 2019, followed by a national release.


“The special effects are perfect and beautifully done, using CGI for the fantasy components without letting them dominate the set design. And to be sure, the fantasy moments are not rainbows and sugarplums, they are a dark as the reality these kids face, but they are beautiful nonetheless.” Ain’t It Cool News

” …warm and fuzzy moments are slipped in between some truly shocking scenes which will have tears welling in your eyes; this film doesn’t hold back and it’s all better for it. Tigers are not Afraid is a stunning film which rips your heart out and attempts to put it back together without ever feeling whole again; a modern masterpiece.” Bloody Flicks

“This contemporary, moderately chilling take on “Peter Pan” mythology may contain supernatural spirits, but it is a human story above all else, and doesn’t fail to fulfill the promise of its power as a fable about children aimed at triggering touchstones inside every adult.” Culture Crypt

“Beyond sociological truth, López infuses her narrative with acceptance and solidarity, friendship and comfort in the face of death. The abstract symbols serve the story, but its core rests in the small, intimate moments, which build to a finale that’s both thrilling and deeply emotional” Daily Dead

“Bluntly realistic yet shot through with fantasy elements which illuminate the way even this world looks through children’s eyes, Tigers Are Not Afraid interweaves folklore with the law of the jungle […} it has marked out its director as one of the most impressive new talents in the business.” Eye for Film

Tigers Are Not Afraid is an excellent piece of genre cinema that is, at times, as beautiful as it is horrific, presenting a new and wholly unique perspective of how pervasive the drug cartels are in Mexico and specifically how they can affect all those surrounding them. It’s a tough movie, but it’s one that will resonate with you long after the credits roll.” Film Pulse

“The film’s magic-realism and Mexican backdrop have earned inevitable comparisons to Del Toro, but few films have juggled horror / fantasy tropes with such authentic humour, tenderness and social awareness. It’s driven by astonishingly naturalistic performances from the kids but Lopez is remarkably disciplined in her storytelling and seamless pulls off the major tonal shifts.” HorrorScreams VideoVault

“If you want to understand a country’s dark collective subconscious, look at their genre films. In this case, Lopez dares viewers to confront Mexico’s lost generation of drug war orphans and the highly uncertain future they share with the nation. Yet, we still connect with these kids on an emotional level. Highly recommended…” J.B. Spins

“These children don’t yearn for fairy tales because they already live in them – subject to the actions of adults as merciless as any Big Bad Wolf or Wicked Stepmother, as liable to be orphaned and cast into the woods as any princess, and knowing that wishes always come at a price too high to pay.  This is an extraordinary film.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“What an incredible, stunning, compelling film this is! This is not a mere flick, it’s a flare. Blazing, incandescent, and highly combustible. Yet, in spite of the horrific violence and cruelty at its core, it is an amazingly tender portrayal of a band of Mexican street children caught in the crosshairs of the drug cartels in that troubled land.” The Movie Sleuth

Tigers Are Not Afraid is, in the final analysis, a well-intentioned yet wholly uninvolving misfire that might’ve worked in the context of a short, but simply doesn’t have enough content to comfortably fill a feature-length running time.” Reel Film Reviews

“This film is unusual in that it entirely lives up to – perhaps even surpasses – the hype. Issa López’s film is an emotionally shattering study in childhood trauma layered with magical elements that could have easily felt crowbarred in had it been made by a lesser director.” The Reprobate

“López’s story mirrors the works of Stephen King when he’s at his best, writing of children. This Peter Pan adventure has real-world consequences exploring the bystanders who are the forgotten victims of the Cartel. It is a heartwarming, heartfelt and heartbreaking horror story.” Without Your Head

Cast and characters:

Paola Lara … Estrella
Juan Ramón López … El Shine
Hanssel Casillas … Tucsi
Rodrigo Cortes … Pop
Ianis Guerrero … Caco
Tenoch Huerta … El Chino

Filming locations:

Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

Technical details:

83 minutes

Original title:



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