Tigers Are Not Afraid
A Mexican town held hostage to a brutal drug war is the setting for a sublimely creepy Guillermo del Toro-esque fairytale of real life horrors about a young girl whose supernatural intuition leads her to form an alliance with a gang of orphaned boys.
In towns along the Mexican-American border, tens of thousands have disappeared or been murdered, victims of the powerful, warring drug cartels, while children at school often have to lie on the floor to avoid crossfire. One such afternoon, Estrella receives three pieces of chalk from her teacher, who tells her each piece will grant one wish. That evening, her mother fails to come home, and Estrella wishes for her mother's return, but is horrified when she discovers the truth concerning her disappearance. Estrella flees to the streets, joining a band of orphans, led by a boy named Shine, for companionship and protection. At first, the boys resent her presence, but after she rescues one of them from the home of a gang member, they embrace her. Soon afterward, the Huascas, the ruling drug cartel, come looking for the children, seeking a stolen iPhone in Shine's possession. All the while, Estrella hears the insistent voices of the dead, calling upon her to enact revenge. Drawing influence from "The Monkey's Paw," The Sixth Sense, and the darkest of Grimms' fairy tales, director Issa Lopez crafts a sublimely creepy film inflected by real world horror.
Issa Lopez was born and raised in Mexico. She studied archaeology for a few years before she changed her major to film. She obtained a BA in Film Directing and Screenwriting from Mexico's National University in 1995. Her student short film, Tan Callando, was selected to represent the National University at the Mexican Motion Picture Academy Awards under the Best Short Film Category. In addition to contributing to multiple Mexican TV shows—all which have reached the highest audience ratings in Mexican prime-time TV— Lopez is also credited with having the highest ranked grossing local movie productions for the films Ladies' Night (2003), Bad Girls (2007), and Side Effects (2006).
Sponsored by Scarecrow Video, Bill Speidel's Underground Tour
- Original Language Title: Vuelven
- Director: Issa Lopez
- Principal Cast: Paola Lara, Juan Ramón López, Tenoch Huerta, Ianis Guerrero, Rodrigo Cortes
- Premiere Status: Seattle
- Country: Mexico
- Year: 2017
- Running Time: 83 minutes
- Producer: Marco Polo Constandse Cordova
- Screenplay: Issa Lopez
- Cinematographers: Juan Jose Saravia
- Editors: Joaquim Martí Marques
- Music: Vince Pope
- Website: Official Film Website
- Awards: Fantastic Fest 2017 (Best Director), Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2018 (Jury Prize, Audience Award)
- Filmography: Todo Mal (2018); Sucedio en un dia (2010); Casi Divas (2008); Efectos secundarios (2006)
- Language: Spanish
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Videocine, Filmadora Nacional