MexZombies is a 2022 Mexican horror comedy, written by Luis Gamboa and Santiago Limón and directed by Chava Cartas. Chava is known for directing Mirreyes contra Godinez (2019), and El Dandy (2015); whereas Luis is most notable for his work in Mexican TV writing and Santiago has worked on a number of short films.

When the undead apocalypse strikes on Halloween night in a gated community in Mexico, it’s up to a bunch of local high school misfits to save the day.

MexZombies 2022 Toronto After Dark

A hybrid of zombie horror and coming-of-age comedy, MexZombies successfully executes both of these genres to create a highly entertaining amalgam of the two. A tale of blood, guts, and dismemberment intertwined with a group of young adults finding a way to overcome adversity and at the same time, finding themselves is certainly reminiscent of the genre-blurring comedy Shaun of the Dead (2004); effortlessly blending blood-soaked carnage with genuinely endearing scenes and laugh out loud moments. Consisting of sight gags, jabs at pop culture, as well as a multitude of references to some of the greats of the zombie genre (and also 2013’s World War Z ), the film is an obvious love letter to the genre that the creators undoubtedly treasure.

As a return to form, MexZombies features the classic archetype of the Romero-esc zombies as opposed to the agile, running infected. These slow, shuffling corpses are, by far, the best way to build a slow-rising tension, which the film utilises with considerable efficiency. This constant rise in suspense to a bloody showdown with the graveyard ghouls certainly provides plenty of bloody action scenes, yet still allows enough time between encounters to naturally progress the story. Additionally, the extras used to fill the ranks of the undead do an impeccable job in their portrayal, where superficially involuntary movement twinned with exceptional use of makeup alludes to a fantastic representation of the dead alive.

The film features impressive cinematography and gorgeous visuals, from beautiful establishing shots to spectacular slow-motion close-ups of the bloody spectacle. Likewise, implementing a natural use of light and, in turn, shadows enact a pronounced means of obscuration, adeptly adding to the film’s building tension.

In spite of an enthralling performance from the entirety of the modest cast, a standout performance is delivered by main protagonists Tavo and Chronos, played by Iñaki Godoy and Marcelo Barcelo respectively. Both display invigorating energy throughout their performances and share a convincingly natural rapport with each other, despite their difference in upbringing—with Tavo living outside the gated community.

An obvious passion project, MexZombies is an outstanding blend of coming-of-age comedy and zombie horror that represents its intended genres perfectly. With a brilliant cast, excellent performances from the young, rag-tag protagonists, and laugh-out-loud comedic moments; the film is a marvelous entry to a genre in need of fresh meat. However, be warned—the director doesn’t quite share the “dog doesn’t die” aversion that the majority of creators do.


We Watched MexZombies as Part of the 2022 Toronto After Dark Film Festival Line-up

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