New Horror Releases: Chupacabra Territory (2017) - Reviewed

If you're not familiar with the Chupacabra, it's an animal or beast that is said to exist in Latin America and sucks the blood out of animals, especially goats. Since it's never been caught on camera, there are loads of different descriptions of it ranging from the likenesses of dogs to sloths to rats with big glowing eyes and vampire teeth. After it sucks the blood out of its victims, it eats their genitalia. 

In Chupacabra Territory, a group of friends set out into the woods with their GoPros to record the first sighting of the mythical creature. Sounds like absolutely nothing that has been done before, right? Chupacabra Territory is Matt McWilliams's debut as a writer and director. Prior to this, he worked in the art department as a set dresser for The Bachelor and The BacheloretteTo fund this project, hstarted an IndieGoGo page to raise $3,000 but only received $815. That's probably because this idea has been done to death. 

With what they had, the special FX were satisfactory. The blood was not the right consistency. But they nailed the color. All the props that were used were believable. The actual Chupacabra air time was used wisely. It was not overdone and it left an unsettling question mark. The use of the GoPros was executed well. It added a more "real" feeling to the movie and it had some successful Blair Witch vibes. Thankfully, GoPros were not the only camera used. There was no score for this film, and there was nothing spectacular about the cinematography, though it was well lit and everything could be seen, even at night time. 

Amber, a Zoologist played by Sarah Nicklin, is perhaps the best part of the entire movie. Not only does Nicklin do a superb job of acting, it feels as if she saw the casting call, walked right in, and said, "Hey, this character is actually me, just with a different name". This character was written naturally. Viewers will be able to identify one or two people that uncannily resemble her role in real life. 

Holy mother of hell! I think I'm going to puke!

Playing her opposite, Joe (Michael Reed) is the friend who's idea it all was and has been studying the Chupacabra for a long time. Finally having the right map and gear, Joe is the ringleader in direction and pep to keep his friends in good spirits, yet Reed delivers a "safe" acting performance. He has one of those familiar faces, but along with a flatline performance, you will neither forget nor be able to specifically remember him. Reed and Nicklin were actually married for six years, but divorced right before the movie was released. 

With a run time of 94 minutes, Chupacabra Territory takes a general plot that many... many films have done, and it ends up... somewhat tolerable.


- Kirsten Anderson