Spanish horror is in fashion. Since the early 2000s, when Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza surprised us all with REC and Amenábar and Bayona did the same with Los otros and El orfanato, there is no doubt that the genre has been revalued internationally. Now, when we think of Spain at the cinematographic level, we no longer only think of Almodóvar: we also think of monsters and ghosts.
There are many Spanish horror directors who have managed to carve a niche for themselves among the general public, and Netflix has become their perfect home to explore it. In the platform’s catalog we find dozens of productions in this vein, and the latest of them is a film that has just made it to the top of the VOD service.
Tin and Tina, the terrifying gem from Netflix
Tin and Tina is a film directed by Rubin Stein -his surprise debut feature- starring the popular Milena Smit and Jaime Lorente. Since the trailer came out, the film has drawn attention for its synopsis, and now that it’s out it’s gone even more viral.
As Netflix says, the film is about the adoption of two peculiar twin brothers by a young couple who have just suffered a traumatic miscarriage that has left the woman sterile. However, the children’s obsession with religion – they were raised in a convent – quickly clouds things.
Tin and Tina is undoubtedly one of the surprises of the season. Made entirely for horror fans, the film quickly asks for suspension of disbelief. The kids are so creepy that they even look CGI, and while their acting isn’t exactly loquacious, the creepiness of the way they look and talk instantly turns your stomach.
As with many commercial horror films, if we ignore the silly behavior of the protagonists, the plot twists created to make the plot go in crescendo and the twists and turns on the same concept, the film is highly enjoyable. It is two hours of pure fun, bad vibes, nail-biting moments and many others to put your hands on your head. All in all, a very enjoyable classic horror movie.
But the best thing about the film are two very interesting features. The first one is the use of Spanish pop culture as a way to generate terror. This is a resource that is becoming fashionable, especially Paco Plaza. In Verónica we saw a perfect portrait of Spain in the eighties, and it is something he has continued in his films like La Abuela. Balagueró, the other creator of REC, is also employing it in his films, Venus being the perfect example of this, with La Ruleta de la Suerte as an element of malrollismo.
Obviously, the king here is Álex de la Iglesia. In all his films there is something of that “cañí” Spain with certain cultural aspects that concern us all, and in 30 Coins is something that keeps appearing over and over again, despite having its sights set on being more international.
In the case of Tin y Tina, this appears with a song that everyone raised in the eighties will remember: the Super Disco Chino. The film is set in 1981, and that is the date when that song populated televisions all over Spain. The children use that song as a new element to generate terror… and boy, do they succeed.
But this is just one more feature of what is really important here: Rubin Stein’s sublime direction. Although marked, perhaps too much, by perfectionist aesthetics, Stein proves himself to be a more than capable director who can handle any kind of production.
Each shot is basically a frame you can linger on, and the constant threat of the children appears again and again as a shadow, from small details, that gets bigger and bigger until it reaches the final climax. Despite not being the best script in the world -that’s for sure- Tin y Tina shows a huge potential of a director who can go as far as you want within the Spanish horror scene.
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