Madres is the tale of a 1970’s Mexican-American couple that moved to the country as they’re expecting their first child. The happy couple’s new home in a quiet town feels like the idea place to raise a child.
Shortly after their arrival, Anita (Elpidia Carrillo) beings hearing strange noises around the house and seeing a mysterious woman in a red dress. When she tells her husband Beto (Tenoch Huerta) they start to discover something may have happened to the previous homeowner and something isn’t quite right with the town.
Madres is sort of a horror film. There are definitely supernatural horror elements sprinkled throughout. Things go bump in-the-night and there are a few jump scares. It’s also has elements of an environmental horror. Is it the pesticides that are causing these things to happen? Is Beto’s job as a farmer connected to whatever is happening? Is it a film about the Mexican-American experience as agricultural workers? At times, the film is.
Because the film is unsure about what it wants to be, it feels disjointed. With such a short runtime, the film doesn’t spend enough time on any of its elements for any of it to pay off at the end. By the end, its clear Madres is a film with a message. Having a message, although an important one is the film’s focus more than any chills or jump scares.
Madres is a nice attempt at horror that fails to hit its mark. The good cast and important message would’ve been better received if Madres was a limited series show on Amazon instead of a short feature film. It would’ve given director Ryan Zaragoza more time to flush out the characters and deliver the film’s overall message.