Connor and Ashley, a young married couple, decide to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city by escaping to a b&b in the middle of the woods. It is here where they’ll meet the lovely housekeeper Lupita, and the old, strange, and mysterious groundskeeper Jose. Once night falls over the estate, El Chupacabra will decide to pay the inhabitants of the house a visit. Not long after the start of the night, strange things start to occur. It will be up to our heroes to figure out the situation and save the night by stopping the legendary monster.
The film was written to be a comedy taking on the horror genre from the beginning. As the writer, I took the inspiration for the project from movies like “Rubber” and “Black Sheep.” All of which took the idea of a horror film to ridiculous extents.
I wanted to mix elements from my Mexican upbringing into the project early on by combining the worlds of an American couple with those of a Mexican household. However, this meant taking on some cliché elements; I was predisposed to changing the power dynamics slightly.
In Mexican culture, society often sees the man as the strong, powerful, and protector. Here, I wanted to create a household where the woman, regardless of the pushback from her husband, took charge of the situation and ended up “wearing the pants.”
One of the many incredible benefits of Los Angeles is the location variety that one can find not so far from downtown. The script takes place in the middle of the woods, but our locations took place somewhere close to suburbia than anyone might imagine.
The production filmed all exterior takes in Thousand Oaks, just a few minutes north of Los Angeles in the County of Ventura. Meanwhile, all interior shots took place in Koreatown in the heart of Los Angeles. Who would’ve guessed, right?
After a hectic but incredible production cycle, the film premiered at the Warner Brother’s Studio Backlot in one of their screening rooms. Nothing tops the feeling of hearing the audience react to what was happening on screen and cheer at the end.
Watch the short film below!
“El Chupacabra” won Best Narrative Short Award at the Mexico International Film Festival in 2018.