Directed by Carlos Enrique Taboada [Other horror films: Hasta el viento tiene miedo (1968), Vagabundo en la lluvia (1968), El libro de piedra (1969), Más negro que la noche (1975)]
This Mexican film, originally Veneno para las hadas generally known as Poison for the Fairies in the USA, is a lot like a film I saw earlier in the same month, a French movie called Don’t Deliver Us from Evil, albeit in a more family-friendly direction.
Which isn’t to say that the ending isn’t good – it is. Is it worth the build up, though? That’s hard to say. Much like the 1971 French film, two youths are becoming corrupted by their friendship, slowly leading up to a less-than-happy ending. Unlike that film, though, given these girls are just around ten, there’s nothing in the film dealing with their sexuality (which was a big part of Don’t Deliver Us from Evil). Instead, one of the girls is playing a game on the other that grows out of control.
It’s a very insular movie – aside from the two girls, played by Ana Patricia Rojo and Elsa Maria Gutierrez, no other character really matters, and for that matter, while their guardians appear (parents and grandparents), we almost never actually see their faces. Luckily, the story is engaging enough to allow the singular focus on these two girls, though I would have to imagine some would say the film drags deeply because of it.
Throughout the movie, there’s a growing ominous feeling, and it’s held pretty well. If you’re not asking yourself, “Where is this leading,” multiple times, then something wasn’t done right. All this said, though, with any slow-burn horror film, did the ending make up for the somewhat sluggish pace? It wasn’t perfect, but I liked how they concluded this. I didn’t love the film, but I do think it’s a lot more digestible than Don’t Deliver Us from Evil was, and I’d probably recommend this to anyone interested in checking something out with a bit more foreign flair.