Earlier this year, Shudder announced it had acquired distribution for Issa Lopez’s horror film, Tigers Are Not Afraid. It has been touring the festival circuit since 2017, generating incredibly positive buzz around Lopez’s modern day fairytale. In anticipation of the film’s release, its first trailer has been released, showcasing how the film weaves fantasy and reality into something unique.
The trailer for Tigers Are Not Afraid cuts between solemn moments of violence to bright moments of childlike fantasy, creating a world of childlike imagination; these kids are trying to escape their world of darkness. It is a film that speaks to our current cultural moment where the world is focused on the U.S.-Mexico border and wants to show a grain of truth within its fantastical elements.
In a comment to Deadline, Lopez said:
“The stories of these children fighting for survival just across the border, and the dreams and nightmares that follow them, is one that needs to be told now more than ever. Fantasy and horror are sometimes the best vehicle to tell the most vital stories. With Tigers, I set out to do just that… and in putting it on the screen Shudder is letting this story be heard. I couldn’t be happier or prouder.”
NOFS contributor Chris Aitkens highlights the combination of reality and horror in his review from Ithaca Fantastik in 2017. He said:
“Writer/director Issa López is able to show the beauty in the ugliness by using shots of vandalized alleyways and landscapes of the slums lighting up at a night. Attaching a dark fantasy and a human story to a real world epidemic, López is able to capture the concern of privileged viewers of the developed world who would of otherwise continued to ignore the pain of Mexico.”
Legendary horror figures such as Guillermo del Toro and Stephen King have showered this film with praise; the trailer even excerpts a few of their compliments. With such high praise from such esteemed horror writers and directors, it is hard to not be excited for this film.
Here is Tigers Are Not Afraid’s official synopsis:
Lopez’s film uses horror and fantasy to deliver a moving portrait of the dire circumstances of the children left behind by Mexico’s brutal drug wars. Estrella (a mesmerizing Paolo Lara) is ten-years-old and alone. Given three magical wishes, she asks first that her missing mother come back, and she does… from the dead. Fearful of the ghost she believes she’s invoked, Estrella escapes to the streets and earns her way into a gang of other children, orphaned by cartel violence. But soon Estrella discovers you can never really leave the dead behind.
Tigers Are Not Afraid will have a theatrical run in New York and Los Angeles on August 23rd. It comes to Shudder in September. Have you been able to see Lopez’s newest films? How excited are you that it’s coming to Shudder? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group!