By now, we are really familiar with Lex Ortega’s movies, such Atroz and México Bárbaro (“What’s Important is Inside” segment).
Human Animals tells the story of 2 families: first we have Fabiola, Roy and their daughter Teresa, who is extremely afraid of the neighbors’ dog.
The neighbors, Chava and Anahí have a dog, named Jagger, who they see as their son.
After Jagger ends up biting Teresa, the dog is sacrificed, as expected, they didn’t take this well and plan to take revenge on what Fabiola and Roy loves the most, Teresa.
This movie touch some sensitive topics and I can see how it can polarize the audience, but is so much more than animal rights extremists and/or speciesists.
I see it as an example of who we are as humans, the decisions we make, if we are aware of the consequences and if we are ok with them.
The story shows us that both couples make too many mistakes through the film (time to time, you seriously want to slap some of the characters); how these lead them to be more savages, to act on pure basic instincts.
In this specific situation the ones that know how to play by “the law of the jungle” are going to survive.
Perhaps, is not Ortega’s most “brutal” movie, but the gore is really well made, not over the top, a realistic home invasion.
Fair warning, there’s one particular scene with the dog that maybe it will be too much for some people.
Both couples at some extent are a bit annoying, but you can understand both points of view.
Story doesn’t play favourites which is a really smart move because there’s a thin line between what is right and wrong and we can see all of them crossing it all the time.
The lack of empathy, tolerance, understanding and respect is what tell us that there’s no “good guys vs bad guys” in the movie, is something that could happen to any of us.
The camera work is amazing, same as the practical effects, Ortega didn’t use special effects and is pretty obvious in the final product, it feels like you are watching your own neighbors through your window.
If you think the premise gave away all the film and you know what will happen, well, think again, because there are some unexpected twists.
Human Animals is already out in Prime LA, hopefully soon it will be available in other countries.
Trailer with English subtitles:
Trailer with Lex Ortega’s commentary: