Streaming on Amazon Prime starting Oct. 8, 2021
“Madres” is a Blumhouse Television movie that deals with mothers (madres), but with a twist of fear and uncertainty. Mothers, and mothers-to-be, are placed into a deadly place – a place where a curse might be leading to death. When the little farming community in rural California has mostly Mexican immigrants, the women are afraid to become pregnant. There is something in the water, or something in the evil intentions of certain people in the town.
Beto (played by Tenoch Huerta) is a first-generation immigrant from Mexico, moving to a small farming town in the late 1970’s. He goes there with his very pregnant wife named Diana (played by Ariana Guerra). She is second-generation and her parents would not let her learn Spanish growning up. Beto is taking a new job in place called Golden Valley, where a large farm operation is located. The owner wants Beto to manage the farm labor, who are mostly poor Mexican immigrants. He and Diana will be able to live a large house next to the farm. The prior farm manager has moved away, so the house is open.
Beto and Diana get used to the house, even when it is old and creaky. Diana finds some old keepsakes from the prior owner in a shed. Some of the items include a music box, but then — there are unexplained newspaper articles. Diana used to be a journalist before she became pregnant, and she wants to investigate and write a lot more. They also meet a woman from the town gift shop named Anita (played by Elpidia Carrillo). She makes odd comments about how life is different in that town, and how it could be a nice place to raise a family.
Diana believes that someone is attempting to scare them away, because there are little sacks hanging in the tree. The part that is weird is that the little sacks contain animal eyes. Beto and Diana meet his boss, named Thomas (Joseph Garcia), at a worker party. He gives them a big delicious jug of ‘aqua fresca’, a fruity drink. Diana listens to the music box and reads the old newspaper clippings. There could be some issues with a new pesticide that is hurting the pregnant woman.
Diana has a fall and goes to the local maternity clinic. It is run by Dr. Nelson (played by Jason Bayle) alng with Nurse Carol (played by Kerry Cahill). They want Diana to feel at home, and she is close to full-term. They will be around to deliver her baby. Diana reads more and begins to research other places in the town. It seems that there have not been any new babies for years. She thinks it is connected to the farm pesticide, and that every young woman in the town is at risk. There are more unexplained things that happen, and Diana learns that the prior family in the home was planning for a child. That mother died of complications, and the father moved away.
Diana goes to the clinic, and she finds a pregnant woman named Marisol (Evelyn Gonzalez). She notices that Nurse Carol is forcing her to sign some papers. But that woman does not know much English, so why would they have her sign papers? They will not call her husband until she signs. Diana is troubled by this. Beto does some research on his own and he concludes that the good Dr. Nelson was involved in things at his previous clinic that might be unsavory.
It is closer and closer to Diana’s due date, but her time is spent researching the farm and the pesticides, and also the clinic operations. Many of the wives of the farm workers have not had any children for quite a few years. Anita, who runs the store in town, has a spiritual background — and she thinks there is a long-term curse in the town. The spooky tree eyeball sacks, and the mysterious music box tune that plays by itself — all of these things are getting weirder. Diana has to go into the clinic once more. But something summons her to look closely at the clinic patien files. What she finds there will shock her…
“Madres” is a throwback to a different era, where the scares are as much due to the people as to the place. The compact, little story brings a few red herrings into the mix, but in the end they are just to throw you off the trail. There are some ideas that are touched on, concerning how immigrants are treated and how they were looked down upon back in the 70’s. A supernatural and spiritual side of the story is reduced as the movie goes on. It becomes a display of the strength of the main character (Diana) and how she can fight against things that are being done with bad intent.
Streaming on Amazon Prime starting Oct. 8, 2021
Directed by: Ryan Zaragoza
Written by: Marcella Ochoa and Mario Miscione
Starring: Tenoch Huerta, Ariana Guerra, Evelyn Gonzalez, Kerry Cahill, Elpidia Carrillo
Cinematography: Felipe Vara de Rey
Music by: Isabelle Engman-Bredvik, Gerardo Garcia Jr.
Production: Blumhouse Television
Distributed by: Amazon Studios
Release date: October 8, 2021
Length: 81 minutes
Genre: Suspense, Horror