Tigers Are Not Afraid was one of my favorite horror films in 2018. It is a fantastical narrative that uses real horror and adventure to bring the audience into the children’s world. The film meant so much to me a Mexican American genre fan, but since no one had the distribution rights, many of my friends in the US didn’t have the option to watch it widely. That being said Shudder, AMC Networks’ streaming service for horror, thrillers and the supernatural, announced that it has picked up all rights to writer/director Issa Lopez’s acclaimed feature Tigers Are Not Afraid across all its territories. The film is set to premiere on Shudder later this year.
“I’m incredibly happy to announce that Shudder will distribute Tigers Are Not Afraid for English-language audiences,” said Lopez. “Shudder is an outstanding curator of the best and the weirdest of international fantastic cinema, including many of my favorite new movies from trailblazing filmmakers. The opportunity to have Tigers Are Not Afraid among them is an absolute honor.”
Filmmaker Issa Lopez has been showered with praise for her work from such luminaries as Guillermo del Toro and Stephen King, who tweeted: “this is one terrific film, both tough and touching. Two minutes in, I was under its spell.” Del Toro, who has called Lopez “a fantastic new voice in the genre,” is executive producing one of her forthcoming projects, a supernatural western. She is also developing a musical about Latino culture in Queens, NY for Paramount Pictures, and a supernatural revenge thriller for Legendary.
Tigers Are Not Afraid premiered at Austin’s Fantastic Fest, where it earned Best Director honors. It went on to pick up more than 50 awards around the world, including Best Feature at Screamfest, Mórbido, Boston Underground, Chattanooga, Toronto After Dark, and Amsterdam Imagine International Fantastic Film Festival. The film won both Jury and Audience awards at Paris Fantastic Film Fest, the Silver Raven and Audience Awards at Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, and ten nominations and two wins at the Ariel Awards, Mexico’s equivalent to the Oscars.
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.
With Tigers Are Not Afraid and the recently announced acquisition of Shinichiro Ueda’s One Cut of the Dead, Shudder continues to lead the way as an essential service for both genre fans and cinephiles alike. Recent Shudder Original and Shudder Exclusive films include Lizzie, Mandy, Revenge, and the documentary Horror Noire.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.