Mexican filmmaker Isaac Ezban has one thing clear: “I want to do with grandmothers what Shark (1975) he did for the water”, according to the creator of a macabre universe with Mexican essence for his first horror film, The evil eyewhich premiered this Thursday.
“Just as it is now known how many people did not go or did not go into the sea after seeing Sharkit will also be known how many grandmothers are sad that their grandchildren no longer want to visit them”, jokes Ezban.
Convinced that he is a closet science fiction director, since he has dedicated himself sufficiently to that genre, he also considers himself a creator of horror.
Isaac enters for the first time fully into the genre that he had pursued for years with The evil eyea story that calls into question the love of a grandmother for her granddaughters.
“When I read the script I loved that it had a very special witchcraft mythology, of creatures, demons and a whole legend that came from the folklore of the Dominican Republic, and I said: Here is an opportunity to do something,” he recalls.
What began as a “commissioned movie” with the script by Junior Rosario, ended in a highly personal work that Ezban rewrote when landing the story in Mexico and a process of coming of age (transition from adolescent to adulthood) with which he identifies.
the mysterious grandmother
The story narrates the life of two sisters, Nala (Paola Miguel) and Luna (Ivanna Sofía), the first a teenager and the second a patient evicted by doctors, who arrive at their mother’s old house to meet their grandmother, Josefa. , who is played by Ofelia Medina, and face a new world.
After the departure of their parents and in search of a cure for the youngest, both are left alone with their strict and mysterious grandmother, in an atmosphere of myths and legends of a distant town.
“There is a lack of more national cinema that makes horror, not only copying gringo (American) proposals, but also talking about a local myth or using terror to talk about a certain national reality, as it did Kilometer 31 (2006) or We are what we are (2010), considers the author of films such as parallel (2018).
Proudly, the filmmaker says that there are 1,300 copies of the film for screening in Mexico, an exceptional number for the cinema of this country, which shows that there can be a great scope, but without abandoning the vision of auteur cinema, since his film also It is part of festivals such as “Fantastic Fest” and the Sitges Film Festival of Catalonia, where commercial films do not usually arrive.
“Whoever is looking for a conventional, entertaining and scary horror movie will find it, but whoever is looking for a movie that has my stamp as an author and the elements that I have handled in my work and my mark will also find it, I have achieved in both things in that sense”, assures the director.
a feminine universe
The story also portrays a female universe in which the main conflicts arise between the intimacy of women, creating complex relationships between mother and daughter, sisters and grandmother.
“I think that witchcraft has a theme like very much with the flesh, with the blood, with the body, with sensuality and it is very interesting to approach this from the feminine point of view”, she says.
And he acknowledges that “as a man it was a very big challenge” to make this film.
However, he anticipates that his next film is inspired by a very masculine universe in which he also sets his sights on the passage from adolescence to adulthood, this time from the experience of a young man.
Ezban points out that the gloomy grandmother Josefina has nothing to do with the maternal figures she had in her life.
“I was fortunate to have two great grandmothers, in fact my paternal grandmother just passed away in December and my maternal grandmother is still alive and is very close to me and is a storyteller; she is the one who introduced me to oral storytelling,” she comments.