×

Cannes: Latin American Smart Genre Title ‘The Monster Within’ Builds Bullish Co-Production Support (EXCLUSIVE)

Chile Forastero add Spain’s ZircoCine, Denmark’s Space Rocket Nation, Canada’s 1976, with Luis Tosar to co-produce and star

“The Monster Within,” a banner Latin American smart genre project that won a Sitges Fest Pitchbox competition, has now attracted further validation: European and North American co-production backing, and the attachment of Luis Tosar to play the main character.

Chilean Rodrigo Susarte’s awaited feature debut, “The Monster Within” will be produced by Chile’s Forastero, headed by Florencia Larrea and Gregorio Gonzalez.

Now also producing are Space Rocket Nation, the label of Lene Børglum and Nicolas Winding Refn; Tosar’s Spain-based ZircoZine; and Canada’s 1976 Productions, run by Nicolas Comeau.

Larrea, Gonzalez, Børglum, ZircoCine’s Farruco Castroman and Corneau serve as producers. Lucas Engel and Macarena Concha executive produce.

It is highly unusual for a Latin American genre movie to attract such large co-production interest from other countries. A “coming-of-age horror-thriller” taking place in the spectacular forests of Chile’s southern Bio Bio region, Larrea said, “The Monster Within” has Tosar playing a police captain, Juan, dispatched to the south of Chile along with his teen daughter, to investigate recent terrorist attacks. The attacks seem linked to a coven of local warlocks in need of a specific human sacrifice.

Upon arrival, he’ll find an isolated town secretly ruled by a coven of warlocks in need of a specific human sacrifice. Juan’s daughter seems to be what they’ve been waiting for, the synopsis runs. Chilean-Spanish actress Maria Luisa Mayol plays a mysterious coroner, Jimena.

“Juan comes from a city. In the Western World, we’ve lost a sense of contact with the earth, nature, beliefs. It’s his daughter who has to serve almost as an interpreter opening him up to a far more spiritual and profound world,” said Tosar.

In a grand tradition of Spanish-language auteur genre – think Del Toro’s own “Pan’s Labyrinth” – “The Monster Within” enrolls fantasy to talk about bedrock emotional bonds, here a daughter’s desire for a sense of her place in the world and a father-daughter relationship.

Based on Chilean myths, “The Monster Within” creates a “fictional story that engages with one of the most universal and intergenerational issues People’s limits and motivations when they’re able to perceive humanity’s darkest aspects, the result of fear, loneliness, guilt and isolation,” Larrea said.

She added that film reinterprets a Chilean myth through a mythological creature called the Invunche as a metaphor for a human being’s psychological state when their fears, guilt and paranoia consume them.

“I’m highly interested in indigenous myth, and like movies which use genre beats, sometimes near pure horror, but mix them with thriller elements, creating a strange, stylized ambience,” Tosar said.

Notably, this elevated genre project also has a female screenwriter, Chile’s Valeria Hofmann. Selected for the 2017 Berlinale Co-production Market and Sanfic Lab 2017, the film weighs in as a potential highlight at Saturday’s Frontières Forum 2018, a packaging forum in Cannes created by the Fantasia Festival, a genre movie fest, and the Cannes Film Market.

Filming begins in March 2019.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Leonardo Dicaprio Once Upon a Time

    Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance Commits $5 Million to Amazon Fires

    Earth Alliance, an environmental initiative backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has committed $5 million toward the preservation of the Amazon rain forest following an alarming surge in wildfires. After launching Sunday, the organization’s emergency Amazon Forest Fund is working to support local partners and indigenous communities in their efforts to protect the sensitive habitats within the [...]

  • (from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson)

    Box Office: 'Hobbs & Shaw' Scores $102 Million Debut in China, Nears $600 Million Globally

    Universal’s “Hobbs & Shaw” returned to first place on the international box office charts, thanks to a massive $102 million debut in China. The “Fast & Furious” spinoff, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, collected another $120 million overseas, boosting its foreign tally to $441 million. “Hobbs & Shaw” is nearing the $600 million mark [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Rises to No. 1 With $21 Million Debut

    “Angel Has Fallen,” the third chapter in Lionsgate and Millenium’s action franchise starring Gerard Butler, had a stronger opening weekend than expected, collecting $21.25 million during its first three days of release. Those ticket sales were enough to top domestic box office charts, bumping last weekend’s champ, Universal’s comedy “Good Boys,” to second place. Starring [...]

  • Amanda

    ‘Amanda’ Takes Home Best Int’l Film at 15th Sanfic

    SANTIAGO, Chile    French director Mikhael Hers’ “Amanda” scooped up the Best Int’l Film award Saturday (Aug. 24) at the 15th Santiago Int’l Film Fest (Sanfic), which reported a 20% audience uptick in the past two years and continues to grow its reputation as the most vibrant and prominent film festival in Latin America’s Southern [...]

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content