demons & possessions

[Netflix Review] Diablero Season 1 (2018) ★★★★☆

elvis infante in diabolero season 1

Diablero is a fun, fresh Mexican take on the demon hunting business.


Diablero is a Netflix Original from Mexico which takes place in Mexico City. It’s a supernatural occult horror fantasy series with lots of humor, fresh characters and a story based on Mexican lore and Aztec mythology. It’s fun, at times over the top, exciting, with a hint of mystery, some twists and a big finale. If you like series like Ash vs Evil Dead, Stan Against Evil, Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this will be a fun ride. 

This first season consists of 8 episodes with a duration of 37-44 minutes. It’s highly recommended to watch the series with the original Spanish audio, if possible, and with subtitels in your own language, for optimal enjoyment. 


Plot

Elvis Infante is a Diablero, a demon hunter, stemming from a long line of Diableros. The story goes that the angels have left earth but demons stayed behind, who must now be battled by Diableros. With his team consisting of his sister Keta a Santera and Nancy who can summon demons inside her body, he helps a priest Ramiro Ventura to find his daughter Mariana who has been kidnapped by a demon. 

They get some ambiguous help from another Diablero Isaac, old frenemy of Elvis and former lover of Keta, and his daughters Thalía and Pauline. Along their search they stumble upon a sinister plan of both a Diablera and a branch of the Church called the Conclave to end the world and bring forth the old demons.


Why you should watch it

I really like it when Netflix gives us more cultural diverse supernatural and horror stories, because every country has its own (metaphorical) demons and its own lore and myths. Mexican myths and gods are large in numbers and deserve to be introduced to the rest of the world, to make the horror genre even richer. 

Aside from this cultural element, this series is a joy to watch. The characters are diverse, fresh and original and bring in the fun. Their relationships are complex enough to make them real individuals but also playful, which keeps the balance between the seriousness of some situations and the pure campy fun. But most of the time it’s over the top fun. This series knows how to make fun, takes itself not too seriously but knows as well when to bring in some gravity in the storyline, so it never gets cheesy. 

It has a pleasant pace, new things are introduced in a fun but understandable way and gradually the mystery is introduced while the Diablero Universe gets bigger. This mystery regards kidnapped children, conceived by priests, but also the private mystery of the disappearance of Keta and Isaac’s son Mayakén seven years ago. 

It isn’t gory or very bloody, but the demons who are represented as black smoke which needs a human host, bring in the fantasy horror. When Nancy summons a demon who possesses her, her looks change making her more grimy and evil looking, but we are also treated to some real images of the demons, when their reflection is shown in a mirror to reveal their real appearance. 


My favorite part

For me the ending was epic camp at its best. I love it when it all comes together, especially when all the characters come together in a heroic way. With Elvis in the lead as the tough guy, with great charisma and cheekiness, the team is a great setup for the series. I really like Isaac, the big Jefe whose heart is forever lost to Keta. But I like Nancy as well, a tough kick ass girl, who is completely content with herself. Keta is the ‘normal one’ who keeps everybody in check, but has some tricks of her own up her sleeve. And Ramiro has his own demons and angels, weird but true. Together they make a great and fun team. 

The first time when the team comes together and everybody has gotten comfortable in their roles is the scene when they try to protect a mother and her child who’s about to be stolen by the demon. It’s a fun scene where you can almost feel the click, and the whole story falls into place. Maybe that’s just me, but from then on the show picked up the pace, the interaction between the characters became more real and lively and the mystery really got into gear. 


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★☆

Fun factor: ★★★★☆

Epic factor: ★★★☆☆

Entertainment factor: ★★★★☆


Read more about Diablero:


Cast and crew

Diablero is based on the book El Diablo me olbligó by Francisco Haghenbeck. It stars Horacio Garcia Rojas (Elvis), Giselle Kuri (Nancy), Fatima Molina (Keta), Christopher Von Uckermann (Ramiro), Humberto Busto (Isaac), Cassandra Iturralde (Mariana), Dolores Heredia (Mamá Chabela) and Quetzalli Cortés (Wences).

Music: Fernando Velàzquez Cinematography: Ivan Hernandez. Production company: Morena Films. Original network: Netflix.


Check the trailer below