A production announcement about a new English-language genre franchise coming from Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna’s Mexico-based Canana Films caught my eye this morning for a number of reasons. While the use of genre–and horror, in particular–to attack contemporary social issues isn’t new (“Night of the Living Dead” anyone?), I’m particularly intrigued by what’s going on in Mexico right now, and Canana, specifically, as they also backed Gerardo Naranjo’s narco-thriller “Miss Bala,” which is really a thinly veiled scathing indictment of Mexico’s culture of violence and superficiality.
The new film is called “Child’s Play,” and according to Variety, stars Vinissa Shaw (“Two Lovers”) and Ebon Moss (“Damages”) as a husband and his pregnant wife who travel to Mexico for some quiet, only to be attacked by maniacal children. The film will be directed by “Makinov,” a mysterious Russian-American who has lived in Mexico and wears a mask and a heavy worker jacket called a Makinov. “Through anonymity I can do anything, tackle any genre and not be afraid to fail,” Makinov is quoted as saying, according to the trade.
Canana producer Pablo Cruz told Variety: “Genre allows you a freedom that you don’t get when you are telling a story of a country in poverty or the mountain life of two kids.”
While it’s difficult to know yet how seriously “Child’s Play” will address issues of poverty in Mexico, it’s certainly coming at time when the Mexican public is embracing highly political filmmaking. In addition to the success of “Miss Bala,” I also recently reported on “”Presumed Guilty,” an expose about the country’s justice system, which became the biggest grossing documentary in Mexico of all time last year, beating out “Fahrenheit 9/11”