Jacinto Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

Released by One Eyed Films


Written and directed by Javi Camino
2021, 95 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Released on 14th October 2021

Pedro Brandariz Gómez as Jacinto
Anxela Baltar as Alexandra Pulido
Corinna Rautenberg as Ana Nodveit
Juanma Buiturón as Millán Becerra


A thing we don’t often talk about when we talk about low-budget filmmaking is the unique feeling of discomfort the medium can be capable of evoking. Big budget studio horror can be icky and all, but nothing creates that greasy feeling in the pit of the stomach like proper Bad Boy Bubby, The Taint or Nekromantic low-budget cinema. It’s an authentic sense of unease that nothing with a budget can typically match, no matter how they might try – a perfect storm of practical effects, off-kilter performances and unsettlingly real-yet-not-real cinematography. It’s a sense that anything goes and, often, it does.

jacinto 01 jacinto 02

There’s no way of describing Jacinto that sounds acceptable for today’s audiences. Jacinto, a fully (and then some) grown man with the mind of a nine-year old, lives at home with his mom, dad, pet pig and scummy brother. Into their tiny village hometown come Alex and Ana, two antisocial, rebellious black metal artists. Jacinto, a fan of schlocky vampire movies, immediately believes the pair to be vampires, and sets a plan into motion which will rid his small town of their evil.

A reverse version of George A. Romero’s Martin crossed with bits of Fright Night, writer and director Javi Camino’s comedy (ish) horror (ish) film is a grotty proposition. Not particularly funny and not at all scary, its story is frequently discomforting – a slow-motion car-crash with an depressingly predictable trajectory. And yet, it’s hard to look away. The story is undeniably well told, its humid, dusty cinematography almost earning the Texas Chain Saw Massacre comparison it boasts of on its IMDb page.

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The performances too, are well above average - particularly Juanma Buiturón, giving off heavy Nasty-Nick-from-Eastenders vibes as Jacinto’s little brother. At the heart of it all, Pedro Brandariz Gómez as Jacinto. Gómez goes all in on his performance (think Laurence R. Harvey in The Human Centipede II) without winding up too far into The Evil Within or, uh, Tropic Thunder territory. That doesn’t make it necessarily okay, but it is less grating than another grotesque, condescending Tom Cullen or Forrest Gump type performance. As Jacinto falls deeper down the vampire rabbit hole, the story’s twists and turns become ever more unpleasant, its denoument more inevitable.

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Jacinto is a striking work, hitting notes of Hillbilly horror story, black comedy and even part Western. It’s too ambling and understated to ever swing for the easy targets – although its more banal horrors (such as a bag of kittens casually being lobbed, sobbing and mewling into a pond) achieve the desired effect. Where Jacinto does succeed is in its strangeness. If, to paraphrase the Gumpism, life is like a box of chocolates, this is a particularly flavoursome 95 minutes… even as some of it leaves a sour taste in the mouth and a sickly feeling in the stomach afterwards.


Movie: 3 Star Rating Cover

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Joel Harley
Staff Reviewer
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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