Chupa Chronicles: Explore the Altered Chupacabra, Myth, & Filming Locations


"Chupa," the enchanting family film takes you into the heart of Mexico that reimagines the legendary chupacabra in a whole new light. Directed by Jonás Cuarón, this movie brings a fresh perspective to the mythical creature, turning a once terrifying legend into a cuddly and heartwarming adventure.

"Chupa" follows the story of Alex, a 13-year-old boy from Kansas City, as he embarks on a life-changing trip to Mexico. Visiting his grandfather Chava's ranch, Alex stumbles upon a baby chupacabra, affectionately named Chupa. This unlikely duo finds themselves caught in a whirlwind adventure, dodging scientists with dubious intentions who are eager to exploit Chupa's unique qualities.

Chupa's Mother confronting Richard - Chupa - Netflix
Image Credit: Netflix

Director Jonás Cuarón took a bold step in redefining the chupacabra myth. Departing from the traditional image of a hairless, winged creature with sharp teeth, Cuarón transformed the mythical being into an irresistibly cute companion.

In an interview, Cuarón expressed his desire to create a creature that not only captivates the audience visually but also tugs at their heartstrings. The result is a chupacabra that, despite its legendary origins, becomes a symbol of friendship and understanding.

Chupa: A Family Adventure

"Chupa" unfolds as a heartwarming coming-of-age story, following Alex's journey from grief to self-discovery. The movie delicately navigates themes of loss, family, and the unbreakable bond between a boy and his extraordinary pet chupacabra.

As Alex grapples with the recent death of his father, the mystical encounter with Chupa becomes a catalyst for healing and newfound courage.

Chava, Family and Chupa - Chupa - Netflix
Image Credit: Netflix

At its core, "Chupa" is not just about a mythical creature; it's a celebration of family bonds and the magic that can happen when we open our hearts to the unexpected.

Drawing inspiration from classics like E.T., Cuarón weaves a narrative that resonates with audiences of all ages. The film beautifully captures the essence of childhood innocence, the power of understanding, and the importance of family in the face of adversity.

The Chupacabra Myth

Travel back to the early '90s, a time when whispers of the mysterious chupacabra first emerged in Puerto Rico. The cryptid, believed to feed on the blood of goats, quickly captured the imaginations of people, leading to reported sightings throughout Latin America.

An artist's rendition of the chupacabra 02

The '90s marked the birth of this chilling legend, with tales spreading like wildfire and capturing the fascination of those intrigued by the unknown.

As the chupacabra myth transcended its Puerto Rican origins, it spread across Latin America, becoming a part of the region's rich folklore. The creature's legend took on various forms, with each community contributing its own spin to the tale.

From the early '90s onward, the chupacabra became deeply embedded in the cultural fabric of Latin America, evolving into a symbol of mystery and fear.

An artist's rendition of the chupacabra 03

In its original form, the chupacabra was described as a hairless dog with wings and sharp teeth—a creature that struck terror into the hearts of those who believed in its existence.

The common thread in these accounts was the creature's alleged penchant for blood, particularly that of goats. These characteristics painted a picture of a menacing, otherworldly being that lurked in the shadows.

Chupa's Departures from Chupacabra Myth

"Chupa" boldly deviates from the traditional chupacabra myth to craft a family-friendly narrative. Recognizing the need to make the film suitable for all audiences, the creators opted for a significant makeover of the chupacabra.

Chupa - Chupa - Netflix
Image Credit: Netflix

Rather than a frightening, winged creature, Chupa emerges as an adorable companion with furry features and a heartwarming demeanor.

In the world of "Chupa," the creature's appearance takes a 180-degree turn from the chupacabra's historical description. The film's depiction leans heavily into cuteness, presenting a creature that more closely resembles a cuddly pet than a bloodthirsty legend.

An artist's rendition of the chupacabra 01

While the real chupacabra is often described as thin and sickly, Chupa is a fluffy, winged companion with doe-like eyes and a button nose, capturing the hearts of viewers in an entirely new way.

Chupa's Alterations to Chupacabra's Appearance

In "Chupa," the filmmakers decided to take a creative leap, transforming the traditionally fearsome chupacabra into an irresistibly cute and family-friendly creature. The motivation behind this decision? To make "Chupa" a movie that not only captures the hearts of children but also ensures a delightful viewing experience for the entire family.

Gone are the days of the thin, sickly chupacabra with gray skin and a menacing demeanor. In "Chupa," the creature's appearance undergoes a whimsical makeover.

Chupa - The Cute and Fluffy Chupacabra - Chupa - Netflix
Image Credit: Netflix

Imagine a fluffy companion with wings, sporting doe-like eyes and a button nose – a stark departure from the traditional images that once struck fear into the hearts of those who believed in the chupacabra myth.

This charming deviation from the norm is not just a visual treat; it's a conscious choice to create a character that children would want to befriend rather than fear.

The decision to make Chupa adorable is a bold move that adds a layer of warmth to the film, turning a once-spooky legend into a heartwarming tale of friendship and acceptance.

Chupa's Friendly Chupacabra

In "Chupa," the chupacabra is a character with personality, and a heartwarming one at that.

Chupa's personality mirrors his adorable appearance, making him an instant hit with audiences. Picture a lost puppy, eager for love and companionship, and you've captured Chupa's essence. Despite warnings of the chupacabra's danger, Chupa emerges as a gentle soul, longing to reunite with his family and forming an unexpected bond with Alex.

This friendly chupacabra not only challenges stereotypes but also delivers a powerful message to viewers. In a world quick to judge, "Chupa" reminds us that appearances can be deceiving, and understanding, compassion, and friendship can flourish in the most unexpected places.

Chupa's Unique Plot Element: Healing Abilities

"Chupa" takes an unexpected turn with a plot twist that adds a layer of intrigue and fascination – the introduction of healing abilities within the chupacabra storyline. The film unfolds a narrative where the chupacabra, Chupa, is not just a mythical creature but possesses powers that extend beyond the ordinary.

Richard Capturing Chupa - Chupa - Netflix
Image Credit: Netflix

Richard Quinn is a scientist captivated by the potential of Chupa's blood. His belief that the chupacabra's essence holds healing powers sets the stage for a unique and compelling plotline.

This unexpected twist not only adds an element of suspense but also weaves in a thought-provoking commentary on societal greed, as Quinn seeks to capitalize on the creature's extraordinary abilities.

The healing powers storyline serves as a catalyst for both the plot and overarching themes of "Chupa." It reinforces the idea that even the most mythical beings can harbor qualities that extend beyond our understanding.

As Chupa becomes the center of a scientific pursuit, the film navigates the delicate balance between humanity's curiosity and the ethical implications of exploiting the unknown.

Chupa's Emphasis on Family Bonds

"Chupa" at its core, is also a celebration of family bonds. The film intricately weaves a narrative that delves into the complexities of family relationships, making it a relatable and emotional journey for audiences of all ages.

Chupa and Alex - Chupa - Netflix
Image Credit: Netflix

As the protagonist, Alex, grapples with the recent loss of his father, "Chupa" becomes a poignant exploration of grief and healing within a family context. The film navigates the challenges of coping with loss and highlights the importance of familial support in overcoming life's hardships.

Amidst the mystical elements, a powerful and unexpected bond forms between Alex and the chupacabra. The film beautifully portrays their connection as a source of strength and understanding. In Chupa, Alex finds a companion who not only shares his journey but also becomes a symbol of resilience and support.

"Chupa" goes beyond the surface, incorporating elements of heritage and tradition into the storyline. Alex's grandfather imparts valuable lessons about facing the past through the family's wrestling tradition.

This cultural backdrop adds depth to the narrative, emphasizing the importance of embracing one's roots and connecting with familial history.

Filming Locations: Bringing Chupa to Life

The magic of "Chupa" extends beyond the screen, intricately woven into the fabric of its filming locations. The filmmakers recognized the significance of folklore connections, grounding the movie in settings that amplify the cultural resonance of the chupacabra myth.

"Chupa" unfolds against the backdrop of Mexico, a deliberate choice that adds depth and authenticity to the narrative. The chupacabra, deeply rooted in Latin American culture and folklore, finds its natural habitat in the vibrant landscapes and traditions of Mexico.

The enchanting city of Santa Fe serves as the primary filming location, offering a picturesque setting for Alex's transformative journey. Nestled in the heart of New Mexico, Santa Fe provides the perfect blend of folklore allure and cinematic appeal, seamlessly disguising itself as the fictional San Javier.

Beyond Santa Fe, the filmmakers ventured into Albuquerque and various locations in New Mexico, each contributing to the rich tapestry of "Chupa." From the majestic mountains to the bustling markets, these locations breathe life into the movie, creating an immersive experience for the audience.

Santa Fe, New Mexico: Primary Filming Location

The mesmerizing city of Santa Fe takes center stage as the primary filming location for "Chupa." Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of New Mexico, Santa Fe becomes the heartbeat of the film, contributing to its enchanting ambiance and providing the perfect canvas for the unfolding adventure.

Santa Fe, New Mexico - Chupa - Netflix
Image Credit: Netflix

The choice of Santa Fe as the main setting for "Chupa" is deliberate and inspired. With its adobe architecture, sprawling landscapes, and vibrant cultural scene, Santa Fe seamlessly transforms into the fictional San Javier, where Alex's journey of self-discovery and friendship with Chupa unfolds.

From Chava's ranch surrounded by farmland to the bustling outdoor markets reminiscent of Santa Fe's own cultural vibrancy, the city's landmarks and landscapes play a pivotal role in shaping the film's visual narrative.

The filmmakers masterfully blend reality and fiction, allowing Santa Fe to shine as a character in its own right.

Albuquerque, New Mexico: Another Cinematic Stop

Albuquerque, another jewel in New Mexico's cinematic crown, undergoes a captivating transformation in "Chupa." The city's landmarks become cinematic backdrops, each frame carefully crafted to transport audiences into the heart of the film's narrative.

Chava performing wrestling move on Richard, Chupa Family - Chupa - Netflix
Image Credit: Netflix

As you watch "Chupa," be prepared to see Albuquerque through a new lens. The city's features, including its distinctive mountains and landscapes, become an integral part of the movie's visual storytelling.

The Albuquerque balloon festival, a local treasure, adds an extra touch of magic to the cinematic experience.

Other Filming Locations in New Mexico

"Chupa" extends its cinematic embrace to various other locations in New Mexico, creating a visual tapestry that showcases the state's diverse landscapes.

  • Mesilla in Doña Ana County,
  • Estancia in Torrance County, and
  • Zia Pueblo in Sandoval County become additional settings, each offering a unique backdrop for the unfolding adventure.

While the specifics of scenes shot in these locations remain a mystery, one can only speculate on the cinematic magic that unfolds in Mesilla, Estancia, and Zia Pueblo.

Wrap Up

"Chupa" emerges as a cinematic triumph that breathes life into the mythical chupacabra. From the enchanting landscapes of Santa Fe to the transformed streets of Albuquerque and the mysterious allure of additional New Mexico locations, the film captivates audiences with a visual feast that transcends the boundaries of reality.

The film takes a legendary creature and transforms it into a lovable companion, all against the backdrop of New Mexico's rich cultural tapestry. It's displays the power of storytelling, where the extraordinary meets the ordinary, and family bonds emerge as the true hero of the tale.

"Chupa," a film that not only entertains but also leaves a lasting imprint on the heart, is more than just a mythical adventure; it's a celebration of imagination, resilience, and the enduring strength of family ties.

Watch Chupa on Netflix.

Chupa Chronicles Explore the Altered Chupacabra, The Myth, & Filming Locations

Author: Lia Chez

Author/Writer - Lia Chez

Say hello to Lia Chez! When she's not basking under the sun or owning the city's nightlife, Lia's living her dream life. With a passion for fashion-tech and a heart tuned to pop beats, she's our style and music maven. Lia delves deep into the American music scene, Movies & TV Shows, dishing out the juiciest entertainment news with a dash of humor. With her, every day's a beach bash, and every night's a city lights spectacle!

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