La Llorona (aka Oh, Genocide is Bad?) with Pablo Leon and Alexis Sanchez
Alicia: Hey, just a heads up: the episode
you're about to listen to is about La
Llorona, directed by Jayro Bustamante.
And written by Jayro Bustamante
and Lisandro Sanchez.
Some relevant trigger warnings for this
movie include war crimes, genocide,
child endangerment and imagery of
drowning, and our hosts ranked this
movie as existentially disconcerting.
If you'd like to learn more
about the movie, discuss this
evening, please visit our website.
for show notes and a transcript.
And after the spooky music, we'll
talk about the movie in full.
So be forewarned, there will be spoilers.
Now let's get onto the show.
Jeremy: Good evening and welcome to
Progressively Horrified: the podcast
where we hold horror to progressive
standards it never agreed to.
Tonight, we're talking about
the Guatemalan horror film
based on the old folk tale of
the weeping woman, La Llorona.
I am your host, Jeremy Whitley
and with me tonight, I have a
panel of cinephiles and cenobites.
First, they're here to challenge
the sexy werewolf/ sexy vampire
binary, my co-host Ben Kahn.
Ben, how are you tonight?
Ben: Oh, man.
I guess glad I'm not constantly
being protested against.
Emily: Yeah, as far as we know.
Ben: At least they're quiet if they are.
I mean, I will say: as someone who
lives in Manhattan, fucking I don't
know, like I'm like deal with it.
Oh no people loud noises outside where
you sleep, however, will you survive?
Jeremy: And the cinnamon role of
cenobites, our co-host Emily Martin.
How are you tonight?
Emily: I'm wondering whatever
happened to just regular old seances.
Like why doesn't anyone do
a seance at a party anymore?
I know it's, it's problematic
on Zoom because the movie
Host, but like in person.
Ben: Because no one wants to admit
that the occult was mostly enjoyed by
rich white people who were mad drunk.
Emily: I mean, everybody
mad drunk should be able to
appreciate a good innocent seance.
Jeremy: Well, and we have
two guests with us tonight.
First, one of the founders of Latinx
Geeks and one of our first guests ever
uh, writer reviewer, Alexis Sanchez.
Welcome back Alexis.
Happy to be back and not talking about
The Mummy, but I will somehow slip it in.
Jeremy: Sort of always
talking about The Mummy.
Ben: I'm always at least
thinking about The Mummy.
Jeremy: And we also have a new guest.
Originally from Guatemala and
living in LA, working in animation
and comics, including writing and
drawing his Eisner nominated original
comic The Journey with true accounts
of people migrating from Central
America and the US, it's Pablo Leon!
Pablo, thank you for coming.
Pablo: Hey, thanks a lot for having me.
Ben: All right.
Now ,I was not a huge fan of this movie.
Not for any plot reasons.
Mostly I think the premise fucking rules.
But my issue was more with
character development and pacing.
If you really en- enjoyed this movie
please feel free to tell me to fuck off!
Like just go for it.
Emily: I did really-
Ben: Who the fuck am I?
My opinion means nothing.
Emily: I did.
Did really enjoy this movie.
Ben: Disagree, go for it.
Emily: I'm not gonna tell you to
fuck off cuz I like you a lot.
Jeremy: I will say, off the
top, my dog agrees with you.
Ace really didn't like this movie.
The constant drumming,
the weird whistling.
Like, he was not into it.
He got up and left creepy several
times throughout this movie.
He's- He's not for that.
Anytime there's like high pitched music in
these uh, horror movies, he's anti that.
Especially the, the
horrible whistling scene.
Anytime there's whistling and
anything it's specifically a coded
message just to him, you know?
Emily: It's interesting because the
people in the movie that are doing
the wh whistling are fascists, so.
Emily: Ace is, uh, anti-fascist
and I support that because he is
not into the fascist dog whistles.
Alexis: Oh, absolutely.
The first time I watched this movie,
we actually did um, a like movie
night with the Latinx Discords
during early pandemic times.
So I actually watched this movie
with headphones on, and that was a
horrifying experience, cuz truly there
is whispering and just like little sounds
and talking throughout the whole film.
I today I actually re-watched it and
it's a totally different experience than
just watching it, like on the TV, like
no surround sound compared to headphones.
And just having that.
Like the first time I watched it, my
anxiety was just through the roof.
Like just constantly just with
how, like you really feel haunted
watching this movie in that way.
Like it was an experience
and a half, honestly,
Jeremy: Pablo had you
watched it before this time?
Pablo: Yeah, I, well, first
of all I, I have to come clean
that I'm not a huge horror fan.
And my, my girlfriend is, and she
was the one that pushed me into it.
Which she didn't have to convince me.
I was aware of the director before
I watched another movie of his.
Very similar way of filming.
Very, a lot of eerie sound.
That's kind of like
his style- slow pacing.
So when this was announced I was
like, you know, I'm, I like this guy,
but I'm sorry, I'm not gonna do this.
I don't wanna, like, I don't
wanna shit myself, the, in
the couch here out of fear.
But I, you know, I, I did.
Took me a week.
I went into i.T it wasn't as scary, you
know, and I agree like it wasn't a scary
movie, but It did hit me pretty hard
mostly because the events that it refers
to, I lived towards the end of those.
I was in the country.
It lived at the time when the war ended.
So, yeah, it kind of hit me
in that, in a different way.
Pablo: Different way.
I think for me it was like,
it's really solid drama movie.
I think the promise of calling
it La Llorona where like, you're
like, okay, there's gonna be
a scary weeping woman ghost.
That's gonna kill people.
And like, they kind of allude to it
throughout, but then nobody really dies
until almost the end of this movie.
And the other thing for me was you
guys mentioned, I, I can't imagine
watching in headphones because like, the
sound mixing is really rough in this.
It goes from being really
quiet to really loud.
Jeremy: In a way that I don't know if
it was intentional or not, but made
it very difficult to watch on the TV.
It's like I have to turn
it up, turn it back down.
Turn it up.
Turn it back down.
Ben: Yeah, I think that's my problem.
Is that just calling it La Llorona giving
us like righteous vengeance spirit.
My expectations for bloodlust were high.
I think that if this was the story
of a family through isolation and
social and being socially reved
were forced to confront truth.
They'd HUD hidden from each other or
denied all their lives and fractured.
And finally had to pick side.
There is a killer drama movie in here.
But the log line being like, yeah,
vengeance spirit, I'm like, oh boy,
we're gonna get to see some assholes just
get like murdered the fuck out of 'em.
And that's not really
what the movie's about.
Emily: I mean, it's a slow burn.
It's a very slow burn.
But I feel like the subject matter was
so serious that if it became an over
the top vengeance story, horror movie,
the way that something like Queen of
Black Magic was or something like that,
I think it would be too much for me.
The basis of this movie is so
serious that I feel like if you
make it any more fantastical it
makes it less serious, I guess.
Emily: That's A's- a hard line to ride.
Ben: I cannot speak for this
particular tragedy event.
I guess I'll say is that as a Jewish
person, my favorite movie to deal with the
hols is definitely Inglourious Basterds.
So I may be coming from a things
a bit of a warped perspective.
Emily: Expectations are important,
and I feel like you're, you know,
that's the expectations in this
movie really need to be like either
nothing or very, very specific.
Ben: I mean, we should, I should get into
the recap, but really I'm like, they just
give us such hatable despicable characters
and then I just, I'm just so impatient
for terrible things that happen to these
characters is really what it gets down to.
Alexis: It's something I do
wanna discuss later, possibly
the myth making of La Llorona.
But I do wanna say that like you're
saying, like, if it had been overly
violent, like I feel like it would've
been too much, but it also is a direct
contrast to the direct violence, you know,
that happened to these indigenous groups
that we see in the film is very violent.
And then to contrast that with her revenge
and her, you know, vengeance of her
people being these quiet, like mysterious
deaths that just happen through the film.
It's not that direct violence,
but it's going to happen.
They are going to pay
for what they've done.
And just like, they're trying
to hide what's happened to
these indigenous people.
No, one's gonna know what happened to,
you know, the people that committed
all these atrocities Natalia's husband
who has been missing or is gone like.
He got got.
To me the, we let's get into the recap.
Go for it.
Alexis: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ben: Diving into it.
Jeremy: Hit it!
Ben: This movie is written by Jayro
Bustamante and Lisandro Sanchez and
directed by Jayro Bustamante and it
stars Maria Mercedes Coroy, Margarita
Kenefic and Sabrina de la Hoz.
The movie starts with old rich white
ladies chanting and praying, which to
this Jew will always be super creepy.
So points to the movie for its beginning.
The main old white lady who's
glaring straight into the camera is
Carmen, a lady who Karens so hard.
She wants to speak to the
manager of a war crimes trial.
And that's not a metaphor cuz her
husband Enrique is a former Guatemala
in general on trial for genocide.
So yeah, fuck this dude movies
like if Shudder or Queen of Black
Magic started with the reveal, the
victims totally have it coming.
Enrique is awoken the night before the
trial, by the sound of a crying woman.
And we get the first of many, many
scenes of an old person slowly
walking through a house in the dark.
In his paranoia, he nearly shoots
Carmen because he's got a lot of guns.
Which he should not have.
And then all of the family staff,
except for their security and
Enrique's secret maid daughter quit.
Cuz they decide they don't wanna work
for the gun, waving genocide man anymore.
The rich white people take this
mass resignation with all the grace
and understanding you would expect.
We also meet Natalia, Enrique's
adult daughter, who the movie
sets up like she's going to be the
main character, but then she never
actually does anything or has an arc.
There's also a bunch of references
to her own daughter's missing
husband and whether or not Enrique
killed him or what happened.
But that sub plot goes nowhere.
So everything about Natalia is
kind of a complete waste of time.
After hearing about the, you know,
genocide, the court initially
finds Enrique guilty, but then
not guilty because powerful, rich
people being held accountable?
Perish the thought.
The family's forced into seclusion
into the house because turns out people
don't like war criminals getting away
with war criminal crimes, and they
besiege the house with protests day
and night for the rest of the movie.
Which, because they're the
real heroes of the film.
It's very, very effective.
This part, just the constant protesting.
Good job movie.
Now, since all the staff quit, they get
a new maid Alma who is not in any way
creepy or obviously a vengeful spirit.
What follows is about 40 minutes of
the family stuck in the compound while
protests happen, looking sad while
vaguely creepy things kind of happen.
The most plot significant thing to happen
is Enrique watches Alma in the shower,
and everyone gets mad at him and Carmen
decides she can excuse the genocide, but
she draws the line at possible adultery.
She also starts having nightmares that
put her in the position of a native woman
during Enrique's genocide, because she
can't understand that bad things are
bad, unless it directly affects her.
Uh, Valeriana the maid eventually
discovers that someone is working
black magic on the house, and Enrique
just tells her to clean it up.
Cuz that's how that works.
You just spray Clorox on evil spells.
They start a ceremony
to cleanse the house.
And also- she also realized that
Alma isn't who she says she is
and is definitely an evil spirit
because plot twist question mark?
An hour 20 into the movie is
when the real supernatural
shit finally starts to go down.
When ghost kids arrive to take
Leonardo, the security guard off to
ghost world it's creepy and effective.
Just wish it didn't come an hour 20
into the film into an hour 29 film.
Enrique's grandchild, Sarah takes his
oxygen tank to practice holding her breath
because that's a whole other storyline
that was going on during the 40 minutes.
And like the mentally deteriorating
psychopath that he is starts shooting
at his granddaughter in the water.
Natalia finally decides that her mass
murdering Papa actually really is a bad
guy after he wounds her daughter and
they sedate his war crime commitin' ass.
We then get a whole bunch of creepy ghosts
looking at them, which is real effective
as a continuation of the protest.
But now it's a silent, very creepy.
I like ghosts!
More creepy ghosts!
They try to finish the ceremony to
cleanse Enrique, but instead Carmen
has another dream that she eventually
realizes is Alma's memories and
decides to choke out Enrique in a
way that's definitely cathartic.
And good for you, Carmen, for finally I
guess realizing that you needed to get
rid of your genocide committing husband.
Cue the funeral scene where another
general gets attacked because the curse
is continuing and that's La Llorona.
I mean this movie, again, like
we talk about, it's a slow burn.
Our real payoff for the vengeance, which
is very, very much telegraphed at the
beginning, isn't until like the last,
just 10 minutes of the movie really.
Emily: But it, again, there's some
creepy stuff that builds up and
there's some mystery that builds up,
but it is very, very claustrophobic.
You're just focused on this family dynamic
and all the fucked up things that they do.
I mean like the, the
genocide is one thing.
But you see these people who are just
trying to figure out how to live with
themselves after all of this shit that
they've done or, and are doing like all of
the racism like how they were shaming, the
workers that the household staff saying
like, oh, no, one's gonna wanna hire you
Ben: if you-.
Oh, my g-
Ben: And Carmen's thing
is "we buy you tortillas."
Ben: That was the big
benefit that they offer.
And that's a very real
thing in Latin America.
Like white families, white, rich
families in Latin America still have
like indigenous servants and this,
that whole idea of, well, they're
family, we treat them so well.
They don't get to live with their
family and they get paid almost nothing.
And you know, they serve us,
but you know, they're family!
But they're not, that's the reality of it.
And like, even made better by the
fact that like these indigenous
people know what the fuck is going on.
Like they mention, we can hear
La Llorona is coming for him.
She's whispering in his ear.
Like, that's another
reason they get it out.
Like, yes, he's doing all this stuff,
but like they know he's haunted.
I think what I really love about this
movie is that it's not a secret that
La Llorona's coming for him or that
Alma's La Llorona, like everything
points to her being this vengeance
spirit and you're just waiting
like the whispers and the talking.
And everything's waiting for that moment.
Cuz I mean, she's even teaching
Sarah, the daughter, like how
to hold her breath because her
children died by being drowned.
She doesn't want her to drown.
Like it's just like this slow pace,
just waiting for it to happen.
It's just that like suspense.
And I honestly love that.
The, the drowning imagery of her trying to
teach the daughter how to hold her breath.
Emily: Which is like,
y'all Like, is this cool?
It doesn't matter who if somebody's
like, Hey, I'm gonna take your kid and
make them hold their head under water.
Emily: Like, it doesn't
matter who they are.
Ben: I do got beef with Sarah, the
grandchild at the end being like,
look, I'm gonna hold my breath longer.
I'm like, you got an oxygen tank.
That's not holding your breath.
That's scuba diving.
You're cheating, Sarah, get outta here.
Emily: She's trying her best.
She's just, she's a child in this.
And she is very, very
ignorant of a lot of things.
Alexis: Oh yeah.
Emily: That she is learning about.
Ben: It is very clear right away
that her mother is hiding everything.
Like has not revealed anything to Sarah.
Jeremy: I feel like I kept hearing
annoying old screenwriting teachers
talking to me in this, which was
like a movie has to have a central
problem that needs to be solved.
And it's very clear from the beginning
of this one, that the problem is
somebody needs to kill Enrique.
Yes and no one's doing it.
It's like the, the whole movie is like,
okay, somebody's gotta kill this guy.
Clearly he is guilty of this.
He, the bad person.
Ben: This is the rare movie moment.
One that I come away with being
like, I wish it had been the play.
I think this would've been
a really kick ass play.
Emily: It would've been, but I do-
I mean, the, the cinematography
in this movie is phenomenal.
The lighting, the composition the
way that certain scenes use study
cam and certain scenes don't.
we got rule of thirds, we've got
non rule of thirds, you know, and
there's a contrast there there's like
a huge visual uh, masterpiece here.
Which I think helps that the fact that
the pacing is as slow it is as it is
because the visuals and that rising
tension really helps the journey feel
worth it you know, cuz it is kind
of like a, a reverse who done it.
It's like who will do it?
How I wanna know.
But that's where a lot of the
suspense came from that it was
satisfying for me, was like, I wanna
see just how fucked up this guy is.
Just exactly what he deserves.
And how, also for me, I'm, I'm
one of those people that feels
like murder is not necessarily.
The most satisfying revenge, it's
the how and the how long, and, like
living with that guilt and living
with just the torture of that.
The weight of their reality of
something that this person is
done like a living hell, which is
what this family is going through.
And all of their own design, like it's all
their own fault that they go through this.
Ben: I thought like, okay Natalia and
Sarah are definitely going through a hell.
Carmen is just all in on, I don't
know whether you call it denial or
just racism and white supremacy.
She's a latin american WASP.
Alexis: Think of it that way.
Ben: But like Enrique he
does not feel guilty.
He is incapable of guilty or remorse.
Like when he's still, like, I don't
know if we're supposed to assume that
he faked his medical incident in the
beginning, but when he just starts
coughing and having like a heart
attack type symptoms, and then it
smash cuts to him sitting up having
whiskey port and smoking a cigarette.
Ben: As a, as I'm like, this is a man
who has escaped consequence all his
life, both materially and mentally and
I was, I was with the protestors there.
Like I was just already, just in
that moment, just so angry at him,
escaping consequences again, like
even then, like he's shown like just
standing on his balcony being like,
ah, yeah, protestors, there, there,
I'm still gonna have my balcony time.
I'm just like I need this man to pay.
I can't wait an hour and a
half for him to start fucking,
really suffering for this shit.
Pablo: Dictators and Latin America and
mostly mil military leaders to this day,
they still believe that they're heroes.
They scream it, at the top of their lungs.
I think you can see that with
the general and the people that
filled the role around him.
And I think that's, that's definitely
what I agree with what you were
saying about, it's not about him
getting killed brutally or anything.
It's more about the slow burn of
him getting what he either deserves
slowly because in real life the
truth is that our communities
never get any sense of justice.
The trial that this was based
on it was absolutely went.
It went like that.
He yeah, he faked dementia for a while.
The trial went on for like two, two weeks
or so, and then he was found guilty for
a second, but then he got overturned
and then he walked away free and yep.
It was kind of a, a slap in the face,
but there was some progress because
that has never happened before.
So the war and the
genocide in Guatemala is.
Practically taboo, you know,
no two people agree with this.
You don't talk about it because
it's just creating a problem.
It's, it's a messy story, messy history.
And you know, I absolutely, you
know, you guys are absolutely right
that this is not a horror movie.
And it's just something that
I, I saw him talk about.
He wanted to talk about this particular
time in history because we don't do it,
you know, and not just in Guatemala,
but even like in central America or
Latin America, it is very little talk
about all the shit that we went through
in the eighties, seventies, eighties,
and, yeah, it's finally happening.
It's finally like becoming like my
generation or early gen X and gen Z.
Now they're Digging deeper into,
you know, memory and history.
And he basically was like, what is
the best way to package this and
make people sit down through it?
Mm-hmm so in some ways, like he
didn't make that for he didn't make
that for anyone else, but the country,
it was more like a, yeah I'm making
this, what are you gonna do about it?
And I think that's where Shuder
later came in and they were like,
oh, we wanna pick up your movie.
. And he was like, what do you guys do?
And they were like, we just,
we, you know, we do horror.
And he was like, well, genocide
is the worst horror in the world.
So that's, that was a hope for them.
But again, absolutely.
This is not a horror.
It was a slow political
fuck you, basically.
Jeremy: It's a good time for those.
I feel like.
Ben: Oh yeah.
Emily: I think that is really important
to mention because when we talk about
the righteous fury of something like
Inglourious Basterds, you know, that
comes out like half a century after
this discussion has been going, right?
Ben: Where time is important.
Time and the discourse that's
happened is super important.
Ben: You know, you're totally right.
Emily: And Jose Efrain Rios
Montt died in 2018 at 91.
It's so recent.
Emily: And yeah.
It's and this happened in 1983.
I mean, I was born.
And like growing up in the nineties,
everybody was so shocked at things like
the Iraq war when this shit was going on.
And like the culture in America was like,
all those bad times are behind us, right?
You know, there was a huge disconnect
with that because of American media.
And this is, you know, this is the
first time I really learned about it.
I, I had zero context or knowledge
before watching this movie.
So in that I definitely
appreciate learning more about
what's happened in the world.
I'm just a gore wanting fucking monster.
Jeremy: I think, I think for me
some of the frustration is I think
we talked a little bit early on
about Natalia who is the protagonist
question mark of this movie.
Jeremy: Starts the movie off at like
my dad's not really a genocidal maniac.
And gets to, he probably is, right?
Uh, I mean, yeah, that's
her, that's her character.
Ben: Yeah, like I think that's my
big problem with the movie is that
yes, it's slow burn, but like there's
no central character arc to still
keep me engaged with the slow burn.
I think, I think that's what it is.
I think I needed a stronger,
main character presence
or arc somewhere in there.
Jeremy: I think, number two, how much of
like some of the things that struck me
as, as odd about this are maybe a result
of how recent some of this is or how,
people making this movie probably know
people who have been in similar situations
to some of these characters, because
like I had no question in my mind early
on that Carmen was going down at some
point in this movie that like Carmen is
specifically supportive of the fact that
her husband and, and the other men in the
army did treat native women like dogs.
They did, raped them, have sex with them.
She's, she's taking it much more.
She is projecting it.
The native women being sluts.
It's like, oh yeah.
Even, and it's the further
we get into the movie.
Like nothing, we learn more about
Carmen, like makes her more sympathetic.
I don't think she only turns against
uh, Enrique when it looks like
Enrique is chasing other women.
Like it's her face turn is
still based entirely on herself
and her own selfishness.
It's not like, again, like I send
the recap, like it takes her having
to actually experience the events
of history for her to have give
any fucks about the actual crimes.
Her husband has committed.
And I mean, I personally, I
feel like that's very accurate
to white people in power.
Especially hundred percent power.
Like why would you accept that your
husband might be a genocidal rapist
monster when you have this nice big
house and you're at the top of the ladder
in Guatemala and like all this stuff,
like, why would you want to accept that?
Why would you care about all these people?
Like, she's the epitome of
like white, Catholic woman.
Mm-hmm like everything
like is exactly that.
So why would she change anything about
the, unless it personally affects her?
No, super realistic.
It's just like you said, Jeremy like
I was expecting her to get a karmic
horror comeuppance in the film.
That doesn't really come aside from
needing adult diapers, which no
shame in that we all age it happens.
Well, I think that her
personal definition of dignity.
That is being taken from her.
And it's a very personal hell
that she's going through.
And it also speaks to what you were
saying Pablo, about how we don't,
you know, people don't talk about it.
And how, you know, especially in, in
this family, certainly it's not something
that you really talk about and I can
see Natalia wanting to talk about it.
Mm-hmm but also not being able to a,
because she's a member of the family
and she's a doctor and her, her father's
life kind of relies on her in a big way.
And B you know, she's
in this position where.
If she really, really accepts what
happens then she is going to fall apart.
And you know, that's not an excuse
by any means, but I can see that
struggle, which is why I've,
tentatively labeled her as Dr.
Protagonist, because she was the most
conflicted character of that group
of the, you know, war crimes, family.
Ben: I don't know.
I feel like she was set up
to be the main character.
I like, I, yeah, I feel like she
starting out being like I'm mixed and
reluctant, but I feel like I should
support my family to, yeah, my dad's
a monster and he needs to be stopped.
I'm like, yeah, that's a natural
main character, character arc.
We got our protagonist character
arc, like especially me, like the
movie starts real strong and then.
Just keeps going.
And then like that art
never really happens.
It's just kind of like, she kind of
spends most of the movie looking for her
daughter, who's spending most of the movie
learning how to hold her breath longer.
And learning about the people that
died, you know, she's looking at the
flyers and learning the names and the
faces and recognizing them in the crowd
once she notices that and points it
out to Natalia, Natalia then sees it.
Pablo: What I got, sorry,
just going back to that-
Pablo: I got from, from Carmen
was that she had to relive a
massacre as a dream, I guess, in-
Pablo: In order for her to even get it
because otherwise she wouldn't have,
she would've just gone on, but oh yeah.
I don't think it was really well clear.
It wasn't super clear on how,
and it was such a quick turn.
So in that sense, yeah.
Like I wish that would've been a
longer, either a longer sequence of
events where she's feeling it as it
goes on, or she should have bitten it
at some point because that's, yeah, I
agree with Alexis and, you know, man,
and that she was like the oblivious,
ignorant person in this situation.
Emily: I mean, she was-.
Ben: That's the kind of thing-.
Emily: In denial.
Ben: I agree with you, Pablo, that's the
kind of thing where I say my issues with
the movie have nothing to do with like
necessarily like the overall plot or
themes it's in like the specific pacing,
like all like Carmen's dream should
have started like 45 minutes into the
movie, not an hour 10 into the movie.
Like, like all of these things
going on should have just been,
I don't know, longer more.
I don't know.
I, I will say one of my favorite parts of
the movie is I loved just how casual she
dropped that truth on being like, oh yeah.
Alma's kids are dead.
Mega casual, walk the fuck off.
Emily: Yeah, she did
a lot of mic dropping.
Ben: Like absolute chill.
Jeremy: Yeah, this, this woman-.
Ben: Fantastic performance from Sarah.
Jeremy: In her early twenties has had
two children and they're already dead.
Yeah, it's rough.
Ben: She says that like she's describing
what game she played at recess that day.
I, I think my, my frustration with some
of this I think is or, or at least with
the character of Carmen and where we kind
of end up with that is like, I feel like
it's the same way I felt when I watched
I don't know if you guys have seen the
movie Rendition which came out sort
of like postwar in Afghanistan, which
is about like this guy who is just an
average Arab American guy who like the CIA
decides did something or knows something.
So they just snatch him
up and he disappears.
And like the whole thing is played
specifically through the point of view
of his wife who's Reese Witherspoon.
And I was like, oh, so like the
audience needs to see a white woman
be upset that her innocent husband
has been snatched up for them to like.
Even begin to process what's going on.
it can't just be, yeah.
It's wrong with this guy that did nothing
got snatched up out of the street or it
certainly can't be, you know, an Arab
American woman who's dealing with this.
It's gotta be straight up blonde ass,
Reese Witherspoon, like missing her
clearly innocent husband, just so
they can be like, yeah, that's wrong.
Ben: Oh man.
Oh, one other thing about the scene
where Sarah reveal to Natalia that
Alma has two children who are already
deceased is, and then again, this is the
movie knowing exactly what it's doing.
But Natalia's sketchy ass response
to that news when she says natives
have so many children so fast.
Oh my God, Natalia, she's
just made up braces.
Emily: Like yikes.
Yeah, so bad.
Natalia has fallen.
Ben: Is there?
Jeremy: Has fallen on the, not quite
racist enough that genocide is okay,
but still pretty fucking racist side.
Ben: Again, I was, I was really
was thinking all throughout
of that um, Community meme
it's like, I can excuse the genocide,
but looking at women in the showers
where I draw the line, the like,
you need to reevaluate where the
fuck you're drawing your lines.
Emily: The one thing.
So there's a couple
things that Carmen says.
The fact that after she fucking
blames Alma, she's like Alma, you
gotta wear a different outfit,
so you don't get harassed.
And I'm like, she was in the shower.
Like she was taking a
shower in her quarters.
Like, is she supposed to
take a shower in her outfit?
Like, fuck you.
But then after that, when uh, they
take uh Enrique back to bed, uh she's
like, oh no, this is an Alzheimer's.
He's just a fuck.
And you know, I'll deal with it.
Alexis: He's like, he's always had an
eye for women that, for, to do this
women specifically, like it's so gross.
Ben: My skin crawled.
Alexis: And then like, Ugh.
Yeah, no, it's awful.
Emily: And she, she basically
is like locker room talk.
Boys will be boys.
Like it's so fucking te-.
Ben: One question I have about the movie.
Is there a cultural context
towards the imagery of the frogs?
The frog imagery appeared a few times
and I, I didn't know what to make
of that or what that necessarily
symbolized anyone got any frog theories.
Pablo: I've never seen that.
My only guess is because of up
north there's a, a jungle area,
you know, the place that star wars
used in the, you know, to film.
Alexis: Oh yeah.
Ben: The place where Oscar Isaacs is from.
So that's a very, a very jungle-y area.
So it has like a lot of different
kinds of frogs and animals, but.
I that one, that, that, that
really threw me off too.
I wasn't sure about that.
There was one thing that
was like that I wish see.
Now I feel like I'm just shitting on
it, but would've just like more into
it only because like I know about it,
but I wish it was more prominent is
that Valeriana is like the General's
daughter And that comes from, there
were like two major massacres that
happen in the eighties, specifically 82.
And the soldiers they kill about all the
kids, but they took a couple with them and
they, they just raced them as their own.
And uh, there's a great documentary
about that called Finding Oscar and it
goes, if follow was two of them, when
they found out about their origins.
And I just kind of wish they would've
gone more into it, that it was
just sort of like lightly touched.
And I understand why he did it because I,
the end of the day, as much as he wants
to piss off the government of Guatemala
like he still has to sell this movie.
So, you know, I, I get it, but that
was one thing that I was like, ah,
man, it would've been really good.
Jeremy: I think it's remarkably kind
to the people on the wrong side of this
throughout, like just the way he presents
it and the way that those characters are
treated, because I mean, it, it would've
been pretty standard for a horror movie
like this uh, at least for karma to
die, if not also, you know, all of.
his kids, his granddaughter.
Um, And I, I think it's really
interesting the way that they approach,
the character of Alma, doing her
best to make sure the granddaughter
survives like and learns you know,
that she's trying to fix some of this.
She's not just there to to
straight up murder this guy.
It seems to be if this is these
two words seem strange together,
but sort of restorative vengeance.
I think it is like about not just want
and violence, but like justice, like
he's the one that did all of this.
So these are the people
that were gonna come for.
Not like his whole when, when not
gonna wipe out his entire lineage,
but like the people that committed
these crimes they're gonna pay.
You know, type of thing.
Ben: I know I've been mostly
critical and this movie is dealing
with like important issues in
shedding light on important topics.
And I feel bad just, I do feel
bad just being mean to it.
I never like being just like
mean to any movie that isn't a
resident evil or Shayamalan film.
But like, I just wish it had gone
like deeper on the characters there.
Like I wish we had gotten deeper on
Valeriana and how she feels being
from this indigenous culture while
also being like, you know, essentially
probably Enrique's secret child.
Who he keeps employed
as I'm barely paid maid.
And like, you know, what's her, I wish
we got to know like her feelings more
about the situation, what was going on.
What I wish we got more about uh,
Latona, like, what does he feel as that
perspective of a modern day soldier?
Like what does he feel defending
this, monster of a person?
Does he agree with what happened?
Does he feel he's just a
person doing a responsibility.
Like what cost does he then have to
pay for protecting a terrible person?
Like maybe this could have been a play
or a TV series, but like, I wish we'd
just gotten deeper on all of these
people and their various perspectives
they would have on the situation.
Emily: I personally, and don't
worry about them being mean
because I'm gonna be very nice for
contrast . I personally think that.
I mean, it's a, it's a movie
about ultimately this there's
vengeance that's happening and
it's a quiet, unfair vengeance.
And, you know, people want public
justice, you know, people should have
some sense of public justice because
you know, it, otherwise just the
understanding of how things are supposed
to work just gets more and more fucked.
And I think that the fact that
so many things are vague in
this movie is really smart.
And also the theme is so heavy or
I should say the subject matter is
so heavy and complicated in terms
of how it interacts with all these
characters and how, you know, how
are these characters living with that?
I don't feel sorry for any of
these characters, just to be clear.
I mean, except for like the victims.
Yes, I definitely wanna see vengeance, but
the obvious and very frustrating extent
of denial that these people are go like
that, that they're trying to maintain.
I feel like is for, is horrific
enough in and of itself.
Pablo: It's also very
Pablo: That is every day in Guatemala.
And I, I feel like if there was
something more extreme, if this was
more extreme, it would be easier
to dismiss as sensationalizing.
What happened as much as
it doesn't like, yeah.
The atrocities don't need any.
Any attempt for sensationalizing.
And even in the film, in the narrative
of the film, they say like, oh, these
people were sensationalizing what happened
because they were paid or whatever.
And that was part of the, the denial.
And even down to when their house
is surrounded by angry ghosts,
when their granddaughter the newest
generation is almost shot by this
fucking uh, war criminal monster.
And he is a monster.
Like, I don't, I don't think
we're supposed to feel anything
other than he's the monster.
And it's just about how
he affects his family.
Ben: Yeah, the only emotion I feel for
towards Enrique is hate and revulsion.
Which is what the movie wants us to feel.
And he has, he is at no point in the film,
is he given a single redeeming quality.
Emily: And they're doing this, there's
this, their own seance to try to protect
themselves and shit ain't working.
And even then they're like,
we didn't start the fire.
It was all him, you guys, we didn't start.
Ultimately, you know, a Carmen in
the midst of her dream, which I
believe is the uh, it's like the
last moment of Alma's life, which was
trying to like, I'm hoping, you know,
that it was trying to strangle him.
She, of course didn't make it, but
you know, as she's strangling him,
everyone else in the room is just
watching with just kind of like
acceptance like this is going to happen.
This is fine with their, I
feel like that is the, that is
where the arc is right there.
I see where they all kind of like,
sorry, I just wanted to say that like,
just all of that denial and as they,
they didn't do anything to stop her.
They are just sitting in the
corner and just being like.
Like, yeah, there's more to that.
Jeremy: The way her vengeance
is making his family hate him.
All these people who are supporting him
at the beginning that they're sort of
giving this speech at the beginning,
which like, even not knowing the context
was chilling at the beginning of the
movie where he's saying, look like you're
gonna go in there and we're gonna wear
suits because we're not war criminals.
We're not bad guys.
We're the heroes here.
So, you know, we're gonna dress
like heroes and look like heroes.
Ben: Could a war criminal wear a blazer?
Jeremy: War, criminal have this
many military awards come on now.
Emily: I also feel like there's
something very cathartic about
the production of this movie.
And sh like showing what's behind
the doors of a war criminal, who's
essentially under house arrest.
With the protest and going on, he
still had a very comfortable house.
you know, they were outside sunning
themselves and meditating and shit.
Ben: I think the thing that this movie
succeeded at the most from a pure
filmmaking standpoint was creating a
very unique, very effective atmosphere
by contrasting the manicured beauty
and isolation of this compound against
the constant presence of the protest
and that like this sense of like
visual serenity, mixed with audio
discord was very effective yeah.
In this film.
And I, I, you know, I will say I gave
this movie shit about sound mixing.
And that is, that is not unmarried, but
there is something to be said for the
fact that like throughout this movie,
there is that from the point that
the protests start after the trial on
there is constant crowd noise outside
mm-hmm, , there's a sound of drums and
chants and everything going off there.
Jeremy: And then that makes that
last scene where the people are
gone and it's just ghosts and
everything is completely silent.
It makes it incredibly eerie.
Jeremy: Because like you you've hundred
percent so used to this, it's like BU
boom, boom, boom, BU boom, boom, boom.
In the background the whole time.
So like, They do a great job that last
scene, as little as they do to make a
lot of the rest of the movie, scary,
that last scene of like where they sort
of bring the wilderness into that pool.
There's, you know, there's Lily pads and
frogs and mist and everything everywhere.
It it's like it's really creepy.
I'm like, I, I wish more
of the movie was like that.
Emily: The frog, I think, I mean, my
guess with the frog, is that a water?
Cuz water was sort of the ghost
theme, the, the theme of the haunting.
And then B I think a lot of there's a lot
of like association all over the place
with frogs and especially with Catholic.
Ben: Have in my notes, that's what I was
thinking throughout being like sure is
a lot of water imagery, like wonder what
the deal with this water imagery is.
And then I said, I'm like, I
completely understand why there
was all this water imagery.
Emily: Well, I mean the story-
Alexis: La Llorona, that's like her,
her main thing, you know, she drowns
her children in the water and I mean,
like just that story that's be alone.
Ben: That's me being an American
dumb, dumb, cause I just knew
the crying bit, but I didn't know
about the drowning, but yeah.
So, so I didn't, that's me being a dumb,
dumb without the proper cultural context.
Pablo: It depends by
country I guess because.
It's by country region.
And I think it also goes back to like
older, like Jeremy, I believe you
mentioned in the beginning, the weeping
woman, like imagery like that folklorish
tale, that's like thousands of years old.
Like you could trace some
of that even back to like.
You know, ancient Greece, but it's this
essential story of a woman done wrong.
And then her, you know, either
losing it or something like
that and drowning her children.
So that's kind of the essential story, but
la llorona depending on where you're from,
it also goes back to indigenous stories
and to the conquest of Latin America.
Alexis: So there is this figure La
Malinche and Mexican Aztec history.
That was a translator and, or like
mistress to, Hernan Cortes who, you
know is the conquistador for Mexico
and did all of those atrocities mm-hmm
and she is viewed both as a traitor.
For, you know, basically handing
over Mexico to Spain by helping him.
And as the like mother of modern
day Mexico, because of her
children who, you know, were the
combination of both of those.
So she's both of these figures, but some
people do trace La Llorona back to her
story of having children with him and then
possibly killing them out of who they were
or like madness when he leaves or behind,
like, it's a version I've heard before.
But I think that taking La Llorona
imagery, like this idea of this crazy
woman who loses it, kills her children
and then tries to find more children.
So the story is like, if you're by a
river, You know, don't call her name.
If you're by water, don't call her name.
Cuz if you're a child, she
will come for you and she will
take you and she will kill you.
Like it's that horror story.
And then you have this movie
that completely takes that story.
Completely flips it on its head by saying,
no, this is not some, crazed woman.
This is a mother looking for
vengeance for her children who were
taken and murdered in front of her.
This is like, it completely takes a, I
guess, misogynist myth into like this
story of empowerment and a very like old
classical story and bringing like the
indigenous character back into like the
center of it and even better, like casting
actual like Mayan indigenous actors.
Pablo: No, definitely in some way,
it's very much connected to La Malinche
because also La Malinche was in recent
years now there's the whole thing that
no, she wasn't like working with Cortez.
She was a slave.
She wasn't slaved and possibly
raped and exactly I wish I, I had
watched the report, but Bustamante
mentioned that the character of La
Llorona is very much connected to
the, my, to Mayan uh, uh, mythology.
I, so I don't, I don't
have it clear though.
So I might, if somebody calls
you on bullshit fair, you know.
Alexis: No, no, that's, I definitely
feel like I remember reading that.
But I, I will have to look it up.
That's something definitely to look up.
Jeremy: I, I think it's really
interesting this movie does for La
Llorona as a, as a myth and a character.
The same thing that the 2021 Candyman
tries to do for Candyman as a myth and
a character is like, now it doesn't
make sense that this person would go
around, like killing their own people.
This is somebody who is, has been done
horribly wrong by, you know, this system.
And, you know, they are a spirit
of vengeance for these people.
You know, avenging this wrong.
Candyman, just straight kills.
A lot of people yeah.
You know, the,
Ben: Spirit of vengeance, that's
a, that's a different movie.
We might have to cover one day.
Very Nicholas Cage-y movie.
Jeremy: Yeah, this is movie is very
little to do with Ghostrider I will say.
Ben: You know, you're definitely
right about the Candyman as a way of
starting to reclaim a myth as something
that defends a marginalized community
rather than doing harm to itself.
And it's, it's attacking the idea
of blaming the victim , which is a
big part of the denial that yeah has
enabled people to, to live with-.
Ben: Oh, Carmen is all
how blaming those victims.
Emily: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
and the fact that she does a murder
at the end, I think for her, I mean.
Ben: Carmen does a murder.
Ben: That should have been the title.
Carmen does a murder.
Emily: I mean, spoilers.
Jeremy: I will say I do wanna
point out Maria Mercedes Koroy who,
who plays Alma is great in this.
She somehow hits this hard balance of
being like very beautiful, very scary.
Like she doesn't do or say a lot
of things that are like, it stops
scary, but she has a presence.
She has a, this sort of intense stare.
Ben: She's so good at being-.
Jeremy: At the moment she
shows up in the crowd.
You're like, that's a fucking ghost.
Ben: She's so good at being
absolutely stone faced.
Alexis: It's incredible.
And it's actually, I believe
probably you mentioned this, right?
It's her second time working with Jayro.
Pablo: Yeah, she was the main character
on the movie called uh, Ixcanul the, it
was like the volcano one mm-hmm , you
know, interesting that you bring that up.
Because the indigenous
population is very marginalized.
It's to look down upon there's a
stigma of a lot of, a lot of them
don't really look at you in the eye
because of, the treatment, you know,
basically mm-hmm so but she looks.
She looks at you and you can feel it.
There is a, an interview where
she mentioned, or I think it's a
director that mentioned it, that
her grandmother lived through the
war and she learned to cry silence.
And she said that she wants to cry
very hard to be listened by the world.
And I thought that was like, holy shit.
You know, that is, wow.
Yeah, no, she has.
I think she's in another show too.
She's definitely blowing up and-.
Jeremy: Well, she's cast
the new uh, Wakanda Forever.
Alexis: Black Panther.
Ben: She's gonna be, oh, that's dope.
They've got like indigenous actors
in that and it is so fantastic.
I'm so excited for that.
Just to see that and just to
know like someone as good as her,
like is in that and getting that
kind of spotlight it's fantastic.
Emily: That's awesome.
That's super awesome.
Jeremy: And next week we're gonna be
talking about Tigers Are Not Afraid, which
has uh, oh, nice Tenoch Huerta in it.
Who's Namor in that.
That's what I'm hoping they call
like, actually call me say it.
I will lose my mind if they actually
like, oh, it's gonna be great.
Ben: Oh, man.
Bring on the rolled Rs.
Jeremy: Yeah, he uh, when he
was at the, uh, the panel in San
Diego, just like he's incredible.
Just on the panel talking about doing it.
So can't wait to see that.
They both have really great,
like just like, a physical
presence, like in the room, like
I don't know, like a quiet power.
You just wanna pay attention to them.
And I'm so excited to see that
it has these like Royals of this,
like underworld UN under sea world.
That's what I meant to see.
Mm-hmm so yeah, cuz she's just.
So creepy and so beautiful.
And so like painted so
innocently it's wonderful.
Emily: Yeah, she does have kind of
a, in this film in um, La Llorona
she has a, an innocence to her as
well in the way that she just kind
of moves and looks around and, you
know, just kind of does her own thing.
But also very elemental which I think
is, is what really works for that
character because she is elemental.
I mean, she's, mm-hmm, , she's
essentially an elemental.
Jeremy: They put her in that flowy white
dress, which is it looks very ghostly
when she is, you know, walking around and
then it, it, you know, blows in the wind.
Alexis: Her hair just yeah.
Emily: That's- Regarding what
Pablo said about the crying.
Nobody in this movie cries on screen,
even at the women who are testifying
the, the woman in, on the, on the stand
that we see mm-hmm , she opens up her
veil to speak, which I don't know the
specific significance about of that, but
it certainly felt like it was significant
mm-hmm because for most of the time
after she, she speaks about what happened.
And then when she lifts up her veil and
says, you know, I'm not embarrassed to
say what I said and to share what I said.
I hope you're not embarrassed to do.
Justice was so fucking incredible.
And none of these people, I mean, like
even as this family is dealing with the
protests, they're also not crying, which
I feel like is really, really important
because if we saw them crying, we would
feel more sorry for them, I think.
Or we would we'd feel like we would be
supposed to be feeling sorry for them.
I don't know if we would actually
feel knowing what we would be.
Jeremy: The only time that somebody
does cry is Carmen at the end, when
she is scream, crying about, you
know, the death of her dream children.
Choking out her husband.
You have the wailing from Alma yeah,
Alma screaming, my children and uh,
yeah, in the end out, but it's off.
Emily: Like we hear the weeping
but it's always disembodied.
Emily: And then when we actually see
the crying, we also see Carmen as Alma.
In the hut, in the field as she's yeah.
Protecting her children.
And she's crying then, and that's
when she, you know, she urinates
herself in fear and then she wakes
up and realizes that, and she doesn't
tell anybody that this is why.
Her daughter says that, oh, it's
normal for people of your age.
And Carmen says absolutely nothing
about why, you know, what the context
was that she remembers for them.
She definitely remembers.
I wanna say uh, I gotta get to our couple
of questions here, but I do wanna say
this ends with this cover of La Llorona
by Gabby Moreno, which is beautiful.
So like, I would say don't, don't
cut out when you hit the credits,
because like that is it's gorgeous.
So yeah, check that out.
Pablo: She, she went all out on that one.
She, I was listening to that
before, before it jumped in.
It's really good.
I was, it was definitely
like, I was tired.
It was late at night and I was
like, ready to shut it off, but
she's like that started and I was
like, wow, she's really killing it.
I think we've covered racial, social
justice and, and how the scene deals
with class pretty well at this point.
Um, Do you feel like this movie
was feminist or, or dealt with,
you know, any sort of feminist
ideas in a meaningful way?
Ben: I mean,
Emily: I think so.
Ben: It definitely ground Enrique's
crimes in the women's perspective, like
it was noticeably, it was all women who
were the witnesses at the, the trial.
I mean, I do think this movie is feminist.
I don't think you find
it in Carmen and Natalia.
I think you find it in Alma and the other
indigenous women who through legal means
who through protest, who through ghostly
shenanigans are the ones seeking justice.
In all instances we are seeing,
we are given context for the
severity of these crimes, through
their eyes and experiences.
Emily: And I think it's very, it's
very honest with uh, Carmen and Natalia
in, you know, a very in your face sort
of way how their ignorance and their
arrogance they did start the fire.
They were there.
, you know, they have no right to
ask these ghosts for their mercy.
Jeremy: Yeah, Carmen specifically.
Pablo: No, I, I do believe that
it does to a degree yet it does
frame it in a more of a, yeah.
More of a feminist uh, view, I think
because of the way that the war went and
it's, it's it's documented that a lot of
the strategies were to do as must damage
as much damage as it could to, to women,
because how do you cut off in their words?
How do you stop the
seed of uh, revolution?
You stop it with women.
And it was a horrible time.
They did horrible crimes for them.
So I was really glad that they, it
wasn't framed from a perspective
of, you know, Somebody else?
Not that no, no one else suffered, but
it was definitely the one that suffer
the most were yeah, indigenous women?
On that degree, yes.
Jeremy: Yeah, I think it, it's
important that it doesn't pull
punches for Carmen like that.
She is somebody who, she doesn't seem to
have much in the way of, of feminist views
in the first point, but like whatever
care she does have about other women does
not extend the native women specifically.
I would say I would go as far to say
she does not view them as people.
And the movie is very frank about that.
Emily: I had a question about
cause they have a woman as the
judge that hands out the verdict.
Jeremy: Whose verdict is
thrown out almost immediately.
Her verdict is also thrown out, but
is in historically, do we know if.
The there were women judges>
So she was it was actually she was
very much like the one that was
pushing for him to get convicted.
She's very, very much hailed as
a a pillar of justice over there.
And I guess semi from fact once the
war ended, the war ended, unfortunately
with a priest getting killed and
that created another trial that she
was actually had experienced and
somebody threw a grenade in her house.
Ben: Oh, geez.
Pablo: Oh no.
You know, so it was like a
yeah, no, it's it's a lot, but
yeah, she was the one that was.
Really pushing against
his lawyers as well.
So, yeah, they got her, right.
I believe she, there's also another
woman that showed up uh, another
indigenous woman that was in the
movie as a cameo and it's uh Rigoberta
Menchu and she was in the trial.
Rigoberta was- she was in a documentary
in the eighties that kind of put a
spotlight on the war at the time.
Uh, What happened was there was
a, a fight and the Spanish embassy
was lit him fire with her father
inside and, and multiple people.
And that was like a, sort
of like a, a domino effect.
But she was very much like in this
sport, like she's actually a, no peace
prize from, because of this situation.
She was also in the movie as well.
She had a small cameo.
Emily: Oh, cool.
Alexis: It's amazing.
Emily: Let's look her up some more.
I'm doing that right now.
I would ask we usually look into any
sort of L G B T QIA a plus themes.
I don't feel like there's much
to get into here in this one.
Alexis: Yeah, no.
Alexis: Did not touch on that at all.
Pablo: Every all of us just nodded.
Jeremy: It's, it's pretty straight.
It does deal a little bit with physical
and mental health, almost all around
you know, the villain of the piece.
And him possibly you know, having
Alzheimer's dealing with that.
I, how much of that is real and
how much of it isn't is, is.
Ben: Yeah, I was gonna say, dealing
with that as exploration of mental
health, I think is complicated by
what you were saying Pablo, about
how the real life basis for this
guy faked dementia as part of it.
So I think that hanging over
all that makes it really hard
to look at it as really draw
any conclusions about Alzheimer
specifically as a theme or affliction.
Alexis: I also think it's.
like one thing I think I say
a lot is uh, mental illness is
not an excuse to do bad things.
So like yeah.
Ben: Lots of people have Alzheimer's
and they never committed any genocides.
Alexis: Or, you know, watch their servant
in the shower and be a disgusting old man.
Ben: Oh, I hated what he says specifically
for that is he says, everyone knows.
And his nurse says
you've never sleepwalked.
Ben: Immediate that's an, like why I,
I needed like cathartic violence was
just being like, God, this monster
of a man, like we'll immediately
just pivot to lies and denial.
Like we'll never, this man will never
suffer an ounce of guilt or remorse.
I guess, uh, the, the next question
I think is just rounding it up.
Does everybody feel like
this movie is worth seeing?
Would you recommend people check it out?
Alexis: Hundred percent.
Emily: Thousand percent.
Ben: I'm, you know,
I'm a little more torn.
I've obviously been a little critical, but
uh, I, you know, if you know absolutely
nothing about this historical event,
like I did, it's definitely a good place
to start to at least get you asking
questions and wanting to learn more about
you know, a real tragedy that did happen.
So watch it for the educational aspect.
Pablo: I mean, I wouldn't, I wouldn't
recommend it for as a horror movie.
It's not I think it, it has
elements you know, of mythology
of horror, loose, loosely magical
realism, but it's more political.
I was just about to say
yeahs, very loose on that.
It's not so.
I can't say where it
would fall in a category.
It's definitely not horror movie.
So I wouldn't recommend it as if you
just wanna like get scared or anything.
I won't do it, but for
everything else, absolutely.
A hundred percent.
I would say this is a drama
with supernatural elements.
That borrows from-.
Jeremy: A, you know, horror folk tale.
Jeremy: To sort of set the setting.
I think the name La Llorona maybe
doesn't do the film itself many favors,
but also it possibly will get people
to watch this movie that wouldn't watch
it otherwise and like learn something
that maybe they should know about.
Alexis: If you're searching for it yeah.
Put in La LLorona 2019, Jayro Bustamante,
because if you just put in La Llorona
2019, you're gonna end up with The Curse
of La Llorona, which was don't watch that.
Just don't watch that.
Like they have a Mexican family, who's
just side characters when they should
have been like the main characters
and oh, just kinds of nonsense.
It's not good.
I mean, maybe you guys
should review it just too.
Jeremy: I mean, that was one that like,
when we were asking for suggestions, cuz
you know, we wanted to do you know, a
variety of, of stuff with I specifically
wanted to have to make sure our stuff was-
Ben: Exploration of James
Wan will eventually take us
into The Conjuring- verse.
I, I wanted to make sure that as we
were talking about like doing stuff
for, Hispanic, American heritage month.
That, like we talked about no
stuff with, with actual like
directors and creators who were,
you know, Hispanic and, and Latinx.
And not that it was like that movie
specifically got recommended to me.
And I was like, did somebody TA
this looks like somebody took a folk
tale that is Latin American origin
and set it around a white family.
And that's not really what I'm after.
Jeremy: Got it's not what we're going for.
So yeah, I, I, again, I do
think it's worth checking out.
I think people should definitely
watch it and it's on Shudder.
It's a, you know, listed as a Shudder.
Alexis: I would say watched it with
headphones and it would just increase
the suspense, horror, feel of it.
Like if you really wanna be
scared and creeped out by this,
like already horrifying movie,
just because of the topic.
Just wear headphones, do it like that.
And you will never feel
alone watching this movie.
It is absolutely chilling.
Emily: I mean, this is my
favorite kind of horror movie,
which is where it's very subtle.
It's very intense.
It has just like a little hint of the
supernatural it talks about subjective
reality and it talks about, you
know, it, it really invests in the
intelligence of the audience to understand
exactly like how fucked up this is.
And you know, like it's not
a, it's not a horror movie.
The, like the Queen of Black
Magic is a horror movie.
There are bugs crawling outta
people's eyes and stuff like that.
But it is, yeah.
Sorry about, sorry about
physically felt that one.
But uh, yeah, I mean, it's I think I would
recommend this movie to a lot of people.
I would make sure that they
are familiar with the context.
I mean, the context is pretty clear in
the film, but I think it's also important
that it's very close, very, very close.
Jeremy: Trigger warning.
This movie is about genocide and
does frequently deal with rape and
also murdering of children on screen.
Those are, those are three big triggers.
It's, there's not a lot of people jumping
out of things and surprising you, but
they do have like big three chairs there.
For people who uh, watched this
and wanna find uh, something
else to follow this up with.
Uh, Pablo, do you have anything
to recommend for people?
Pablo: Oh, okay.
So I don't know with, you know, horror
wise, but I would say there are two movies
that I feel it's also have like a similar
feel to it is Prayers for the Stolen by
Tatiana Huezo and Identifying Features.
I don't remember the
director's name uh, apologize.
And you know, surprisingly they're
both film in a similar way.
You know, there's a lot of sound you
know, playing with a lot of sound and
the way they're shot and the way that the
story telling moves is it's, it's very
similar in that it shows you how bleak
things are and it never really, like,
it never really gives you a, A false
sense of like, oh, things will be okay.
It's more like, these are
the things here you go.
Kind of thing.
uh, I'm not selling them very
well, but trust they're very good.
They're shot beautifully.
Identify features just like
a big reference point for a
short that I'm working on.
So it's it works.
But yeah, they're, they're bleak.
They're bleak, very Latin
American, you know, yeah.
Jeremy: All right.
Alexis, what have you got?
Alexis: Um, So I think it's a trend
that when I'm on this podcast, I kind
of do like horror, adjacent movies.
So I'm gonna go with the horror
adjacent as well because you know,
you need a little bit uh, happier
after watching this movie, which
is vampires in the Bronx, like.
I it's so good.
It's so good.
Hells kids fighting them like in the
Bronx and just like the Dominican of it.
Like it's just a good time.
And I feel like everyone
should watch that.
And obviously the mommy, 1999 with Brenda
Frazier and Rachel Weiss of course.
Ben: That is worth watching.
No matter the context
Emily, what have you got?
Emily: I actually want to recommend,
even though I haven't seen it,
I just learned about it today.
That the documentary that Pablo was
talking about, was it finding Oscar?
Yeah, that sounds really interesting.
So, I'm recommend, I'm recommending
that to you and me and all of
us that haven't seen it yet.
Thank you for mentioning that.
Pablo: It's hard, but I hope, you know,
you, I hope you enjoy it in some way.
don't enjoy it, but you know.
Emily: No, I get it.
Like, I would love to know more
of the facts about this situation.
Because you know, it's one of the things
that this movie really, showed me.
Pablo: If I may, if I may throw one more.
Pablo: There was a book that was called
the art political murder, but it was
recently made into a documentary.
It's an HBO max.
I at least that I remember
it was still there.
I don't know.
As of last week.
I asked, but that one deals with the
messy downfall, that was the end of the
war, which discovered in this movie.
I don't know if this it's a terrible
trend, but a lot of Latin American
wars and events, they usually tend
to either start with a murder of a
priest or end with a, so this one.
So this one in particular
ends with a murder of priest.
And it just kind of becomes like a
political thriller courtroom stuff.
Art of work murder deals
with the aftermath of, of the
events that go into the movie.
Emily: Oh yeah.
I'll have to check that out.
Uh, Ben, what have you got?
Ben: So I'm going to
recommend a story of how one.
Endless pursuit of evil deeds, inevitably
drives away his family and condemns
him to a life worse than death.
And that is Godfather 2.
Emily: Pretty good.
Ben: No punchline.
Go watch Godfather and Godfather 2.
Jeremy: And you can still skip
Godfather 3, all these years later.
We're still fine with that.
As for me, I think, you know,
we've already mentioned a couple
of things that I feel like hit kind
of adjacent to this and that they,
they do deal with social themes.
They're a little less straight up
horror but are still very good.
Like the, you know, 2021 candy man I think
was very similar to this if, if not a bit
more scary and the Queen of Black Magic.
Which we talked about.
I'm not sure if I've recommended it on
here before, but another one that hit me
is uh, The Lodge, which is uh, I know is
available on, I believe Hulu right now.
And as far as I know, they're not
purging random things off their system.
God, and uh, The Lodge is set in America
and it's about a woman who has escaped
this cult that her father was the
leader of this hyper religious cult.
And she is supposed to be going on a
uh, a trip with her new husband and
the, her two stepchildren that she has
just inherited by marrying this guy.
And uh, he has to go away for work
stuff as soon as they get there.
So she's sort of left
there with these two.
Two stepchildren that hate her.
And uh, it starts to become clear that
her cult seems to be coming for her in
this sort of like snowed in cabin that
they're at in the middle of nowhere.
Things start getting very bad
and very strange, very quickly.
It has the same sort of shut in feeling.
And I think deals a lot more, a lot less
with sort of, country stuff and a lot
more with religious community stuff.
And dealing with the fact that your father
may be a horrible person and, and all
of that, but it's uh, that one is also
kind of a rough watch, but uh, definitely
worth checking out and is again, maybe not
straight up horror, but is very unnerving
much like this movie was um, yeah.
Well with that said uh, let's go ahead
and, uh, I wanna make sure that people
can uh, find you guys online if they want
to, you know, follow up, talk to you more
Pablo, where can people find you online?
Where can they find out more
about your work as well?
Pablo: I'm on Instagram and
Twitter as @ArtsyPabster , And
my website is artsypabster.com.
I guess if I may, I will like to
plug in a book that I'm working on.
Well, two books that I'm working
on, one comes out October is
like a Spiderman book, really
nice, very friendly, you know.
And the second book is
called Silenced Voices.
It does come on in 2024.
It's a graphic novel, but it
does deal with this actual
actual topic the Guatemala war.
You know, I know it's a, it's a while,
but man, like time flies, you blink and.
Emily: Oh yeah.
And you know, you just put a
Google calendar, like alert
for the month and year and.
So, you know, that comes out yeah.
You know, if this particular movie was
kind of your jam, that one is similar.
This is why I was such a hard,
a hard defender of this movie.
Cause I'm like, oh yeah.
Jeremy: Everybody who tells
stories about this time is great.
Alexis: Necessary stories.
Ben: Again, if I have been overly
critical and you feel like yelling
at me over it, please do so.
You have earned the right to.
And uh, Alexis, what about you?
Where can people find out
more about you and your stuff?
Alexis: Yeah, you can find me @LatinxGeeks
on Twitter, Instagram we're uh, hopefully
gonna be ramping things back up in 2023.
but I specifically wanna actually shout
out fandom forward formally known as
the Harry Potter Alliance, but they
have graduated on to fandom forward
and they do amazing fan activism.
And most recently we, I was part of
the Fan Organizer Coalition and we
pretty much worked on a set of uh,
best practices on how to create a fan
organization and how to make that a
space for activism and for just creating
a safe place to organize as geeks.
You know, from multiple communities.
Um, So yeah, definitely.
I would say definitely check them
out, check out the Fan Organizer
Coalition and, you know, look
out for any LatinxGeek stuff.
Jeremy: And as for the rest of us,
as always, you can find emily at
megamoth on twitter and mega_moth
on instagram and at megamoth.net.
Ben is on Twitter at BentheKahn, and on
their website benkahncomics.com, where you
can pick up all of their books, including
Immortals Fenyx Rising and Renegade Rule.
And finally, for me, you can find me
on Twitter in Instagram at JRome58,
on my website jeremywhitley.com.
And you can check out
everything I write there.
And of course the podcast is
on Patreon at Progressively
Horrified, on our regular website
on Twitter at ProgHorrorPod, we would
love to hear from you, if you want to come
yell at Ben, that's the place to do it.
You can also yell at me or Emily if you
want to, but, you know, especially if
you want to yell at Ben that's the place.
Jeremy: Uh, So speaking of loving
to hear from you we would love it.
If you would review this wherever
you're listening to at five stars
helps us find more listeners and
helps more listeners find us.
And again, I do wanna, thanks so much.
Thank you to Pablo and
Alexis for joining us.
It was great to have you
guys thanks for coming in.
Thank you for having me.
Pablo: Yeah, thank you.
Emily: Of course.
And uh, as always thanks to Ben
and Emily for joining me and
thanks to all of you for listening.
And uh, next week it's gonna be just
as heavy as we, as we talk about Tigers
Are Not Afraid, but join us anyway.
Cause that's a real good movie.
Until then Stay Horrified.
Alicia: Progressively Horrified
was created by Jeremy Whitley
and produced by Alicia Whitley.
This episode featured Jeremy Ben, Emily,
and Alexis Sanchez and Pablo Leon.
All opinions expressed by the
commentators are solely their own
and do not represent the intent or
opinion of the filmmakers nor do they
represent the employers, institutions,
or publishers of the commentators.
Our theme music is epic darkness
by Mariokhol06 and was provided
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If you like this episode, you
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You can also get in touch with us on
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Thanks for listening.