When and Where Does Chupa Take Place?

Image Credit: Tony Rivetti Jr./Netflix

Directed by Jonás Cuarón, Netflix’s ‘Chupa’ is an adventure movie that explores the legend of Chupacabra. It follows Alex, a young boy who encounters a mysterious creature while spending time with his extended family in Mexico. However, the family is forced to deal with the nefarious forces trying to capture the creature while trying to reunite it with its family. The movie’s scope of adventure is expanded upon through its picturesque setting and time period. Hence, viewers must be wondering when and where ‘Chupa’ takes place.

Chupa Takes Place in the 1990s

‘Chupa’ follows Alex, a young boy who encounters a Chupacabra cub while staying on his grandfather’s ranch. Meanwhile, a scientist named Quinn is trying to catch the Chupacabra for his own gain. The film’s opening scene sees Quinn causing a Chupacabra and its young cub. Most of the movie takes place over the course of a single weekend. It is primarily set in the year 1996, as established in the opening scene set inside a cave. The film’s 1990s setting is also highlighted through several era-appropriate cultural references and the use of technology. The news broadcasts reporting the Chupacabra sighting occur through Cathode Ray Tube television sets.

Moreover, there are no smartphones, and characters use devices such as the iconic Game Boy Color and Sony Walkman, which were popular during the period. The 1990s setting is also crucial to the movie’s narrative as it revolves around the hunt for Chupacabras. In reality, the Chupacabra myth originated in the 1970s but exploded during the 1990s. Several Chupacabra sightings were reported across Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the United States during the period. Therefore, the 1990s setting is relevant to the story’s subject material and adds nostalgia for the viewers. Furthermore, the 90s environment also makes the movie feel like a successor to the 80s creature movies such as ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial‘ and ‘Gremlins,’ which inspired director Jonás Cuarón.

Chupa Is Set In Mexico

‘Chupa’ primarily explores the Mexican version of the Chupacabra legend. As a result, it is no surprise the movie is set in Mexico. The film’s opening scene is set in a cave on the outskirts of San Javier, Mexico. On the other hand, a majority of the movie takes place on a ranch in San Javier. San Javier is a town in Loreto Municipality of the Baja California Sur, a state in Mexico. Located in Western Mexico, the town is known for its meager population and natural beauty. It is primarily an agricultural town accentuated by scenic valleys and lava flows. The sleepy village makes an ideal setting for a monster-themed movie. Moreover, its vast natural vegetation and Mexican heritage add to the story’s aesthetic value.

Image Credit: Tony Rivetti Jr./Netflix

However, the movie was not filmed on location in San Javier, Mexico. Instead, towns in New Mexico, such as Santa Fe and Albuquerque, doubled as San Javier during the film’s production. Moreover, some portions of the movie occur in Kansas City, Kansas. The film’s protagonist, Alex, lives in Kansas with his mother and is disconnected from his Mexican heritage. As a result, when Alex travels to San Javier to live with his grandfather and cousins, he reconnects with his Mexican roots. Hence, the contrasting countryside backdrops of San Javier and Kansas City firmly establish Alex’s character arc, while the former provides Alex and his family’s adventure cultural context.

Read More: Is Netflix’s Chupa Based on a True Story or a Book?