Chupa: Exploring the Shooting Locations of the Netflix Movie

Directed by Jonás Cuarón, Netflix’s ‘Chupa’ is a fantasy adventure movie that follows a young teen named Alex who, during the visit to his extended family’s place, comes across a chupacabra hiding on his grandfather’s ranch. Forming an unlikely bond with the mythical creature, he discovers that a dangerous scientist named Richard Quinn considers it an abomination and a danger to society. He is on the hunt for the misunderstood creature to harness his powers. To save Chupa, Alex and his cousins embark on the adventure of a lifetime and realize that life’s burdens become much lighter when you share them with close ones.

Starring Demián Bichir, Evan Whitten, Christian Slater, Ashley Ciarra, and Nickolas Verdugo, the action-adventure movie mostly unfolds in Mexico as Alex flies from Kansas City to Mexico to meet his extended family for the first time. The visual of the titular mythical creature against the backdrop of varied locations where Alex tries to save Chupa from impending danger is bound to raise questions about the filming sites.

Where Exactly is Chupa Filmed?

‘Chupa’ was filmed in New Mexico, specifically in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Mesilla, Estancia, and Zia Pueblo. As per reports, the principal photography for the fantasy movie commenced in August 2021 and wrapped up in November of the same year. The makers employed more than 900 local New Mexicans as cast and crew members for the production. Now, without further ado, let’s get a detailed account of all the specific locations that appear in the Netflix movie!

Santa Fe, New Mexico

The capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe, served as one of the primary shooting locations for ‘Chupa,’ with the production team setting up camp in various sites across the city. With diverse cultural activities and historic sites in Santa Fe, it is a hotspot for many tourists and filmmakers. Thus, there are various landmarks that you might be able to spot in the backdrop of a few scenes, including the historic Bandelier National Monument, the Valles Caldera, and Museum Hill.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Several portions of ‘Chupa’ were lensed in and around Albuquerque as the city’s terrains and landmarks feature in the background of many scenes. The filming unit scouted several locations in Albuquerque to make them stand in for Mexican sites. Over the years, it has hosted the production of several movies and TV shows, such as ‘Odd Thomas,’ ‘Big Sky,’ ‘Outer Range,’ and ‘Roswell, New Mexico.’

Other Locations in New Mexico

The filming unit even traveled to other locations across New Mexico for shooting purposes. For instance, the towns of Mesilla in Doña Ana County and Estancia in Torrance County are a couple of filming sites where several vital scenes were taped for ‘Chupa.’ Furthermore, the cast and crew members were spotted recording some sequences in and around Zia Pueblo, a census-designated place in Sandoval County.

Interestingly enough, the director Jonás Cuarón used Harper, a real-life dog, to essay the role of Chupa, which was then replaced by a computer-generated creature during post-production. In a conversation with Remezcla in early April 2023, he expanded further by saying, “…So, we had a dog named Harper stand in for Chupa. The dog was so cute, he brought in that natural emotion. (Harper) created an immediate connection with the kids.”

Read More: 8 Movies Like Chupa You Must See