"If you’re looking for Big Foot this isn’t the movie for you. The adorable fantasy furry and the grown versions exceed expectations and I kind of want one as a pet despite them being fictional creatures."
Netflix put out another adorable family friendly movie with their new release "Chupa". The plot reminds me of a mix of ET and Brother Bear. Let's set the stage...a young Mexican American boy Alex (Evan Whitten) must travel from Kansas City, where his struggling single mother has to stay and hold down the fort, to visit his estranged cousins in Mexico. It’s a confusing time in the Alex's life, coping with an identity crisis where he feels accepted neither as Mexican nor American. His cousins, the lucha wrestling-obsessed young Memo (Nickolas Verdugo) and smooth-talking older Luna (Ashley Ciarra), only make him gravitate closer to his American identity on the trip.
I enjoyed learning more about a culture I was unfamiliar with, also seeing Alex evolve, overcome and embrace the traits he is initially bullied for is inspiring. Being different in any way as a child makes middle school extremely difficult. Especially if you're a person of color (POC) in areas where the neighbors fear or hate you. This movie could also children realize that avoiding and suppressing feelings isn’t the healthiest way to process emotions. "Chupa" also tackles the topic of elders in families needing to be taken care of as time goes on. There are memory and mental health issues that arise with one of the characters and it’s relatable especially with an older parent needing more assistance than normal.
The Chupacabra was too adorable for words, it looked like a mix of a kitten, Kolala & a winged Griffin. "Chupa" also seemed to follow the original folklore rather than the Americanized definition. I wasn’t expecting what I saw based on what I know about the legend. If you’re looking for Big Foot this isn’t the movie for you. The adorable fantasy furry and the grown versions exceed expectations and I kind of want one as a pet despite them being fictional creatures.
One critique I have of the movie is how little we got from the antagonist side. They gave a reason why this scientist (Christian Slater) was after it, but they could have expanded on it. Also, the 'Chupa" has a special ability that could have been explored or at least mentioned more. Showcasing it more than once in the movie at key moments would have upped the stakes more and had the audience more invested in wanting a positive outcome.
My rating for Chupa would be a 6 out of 10. Not an amazing movie but still entertaining enough and something most children would enjoy. Definitely a good pick for your next family movie night.
Erin is a social commentator, influencer, and content reviewer at Head Nerds In Charge Network.