Chupa

Where I Watched it: Netflix

Audio Description Provided By: International Digital Center

Written By: Tevin Christopher

Narrated By Frankie Corroso

This follows the “boy and his dog” formula for the most part, except this isn’t a dog. It’s a Chupacabra! I actually clicked on this on Netflix thinking it would be animated. It’s not. It features Academy Award Nominee Demian Bichir as well as Christian Slater.

It’s very much along the lines of things that came before it, like ET, or The Last Mimzy, or hell, Free Willy. Any film where a boy’s life was changed by the improbable creature he encounters, and has to fight against some force to keep his new friend safe. Eventually, an inspirational moment where the boy must set the thing he loves free is a must. Like, everything has come to this moment. “Genie, you’re free!”. Yes, Aladdin follows this format too. Aladdin is a troubled street rat who finds a strange mythological creature, befriends it, fights to save it from an evil force, and ultimately has to set it free.

This is not a new formula. Chupa is exactly this, except aimed at Latinx kids. Especially ones that don’t speak Spanish, but have family south of the border that they can fly and spend a summer with, where they meet the rest of their family, learn about their culture, learn some Spanish, and meet an adorable version of an urban legend.

It’s really average, and it paints by the numbers. i followed it just fine, because there are hundreds of movies just like it, but the audio description could have been better. I felt like I only got a cursory reference to what Chupa looked like, instead of an in-depth analysis of this supposedly adorable creature.

That’s the thing about these movies is that “the dog”, whatever it may be, is usually really absurdly adorable. These things always have personalities, they do cute tricks, they’re loyal, funny, and beasts of fancy. I kinda just felt like there was this thing with wings following a kid around. I mean… cool. But, every other film works because those other creatures worked. ET has such a unique look, and personality, that if you don’t bother to describe him fully, the film becomes about the humans… who are kind of boring.

So, I wasn’t a huge fan of the audio description. The film is Ok. The audio description could have been better.

Final Grade: C+

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