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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Review: Diablero (Season 2)

Screenplay: Verónica Marzá, Augusto Mendoza, José Rodríguez, Laura Sarmiento Pallarés, Daniel Sánchez Arrans, 
Year: 2020

The first season of “Diablero” was received with much enthusiasm by horror cinema fans, especially from the Latino community. “Diablero” offers a mix of supernatural horror with comedy, strongly tied to Mexican culture, in line with Netflix’s effort to expand their international titles’ catalogs. 

In the first season of “Diablero”, we get to know Elvis Infante (Horacio García Rojas; “Narcos: México”), his sister Keta (Fátima Molina; “La Doña”), and their friend Nancy (Giselle Kuri; “La Doña”), a trio of demon hunters. In one of their jobs the meet father Ventura, who ends up joining the group and who has an important part when they face a powerful demon at the ending of the first season. Some questions were left roaming around in the air in this ending, some of which are important in the plot of the second season. 

In the second season of “Diablero”, the trio of demon hunters rescue Ventura (Christopher Von Uckermann; “Kdabra”) from limbo and they receive the news that they must search for a white key to keep open the gate that allows angels to reach Earth. At the same time, Keta and her brother Elvis continue searching for her son Mayakén, who was kidnapped shortly after being born, and that knows seems to be closer than ever. All this leads them to face a powerful demon with a fixation for kidnapping and killing people who have consumed a drug known as Tears of the Devil.

Netflix’s production team has succeeded in identifying everything that people liked from last season and bringing it again in this second one. The cast remains the same with Elvis, Keta, Nancy, and Ventura as the group of demon hunters and the appearances of Isaac (Humberto Busto; “El Chapo”) and his daughters as comic relief. Also, the excellent theme song from Café Tacvba titles Futuro is again the perfect introduction to every episode. 

Once more the horror in the shape of demons is mixed with comedy in moments as absurd as they are funny, which lose presence as the series goes on and grows progressively darker. However, Netflix loses the opportunity to improve in some of their flaws and repeats them, as with the bad digital images and outfits that are not in tune with the good production of the rest of the series. In general, a jump in boldness and visual quality can be appreciated for this season that collaterally emphasizes, even more, the parts where they fail to deliver.

The plot of this new season is more interesting than the previous one, with the story about Mayakén being more important. Keta is also given more importance and how she continues to get out of her brother’s shadow, now much more easily after their father’s death, who was the main responsible for her to not be able to continue growing as a diablera and that perfectly blends with the current times in which feminism and the #MeToo movement has gathered massive attention. On the other hand, there are elements in the plot that feel rushed and that are probably caused by this new Netflix tendency of having shorter series; this season only has six episodes in comparison with the eight of the previous one.

The second season of “Diablero” reuses the formula that gave it so much success in the previous season, mixing demons, horror, comedy, and Mexican culture in a story that keeps getting more and more interesting. The questions that were left hanging in the first season have a fundamental role in this second one, as with the whereabouts of the kid Mayakén and the growth of Keta as a diablera. Although they repeat the bad CGI images and the development of some situations and characters feels rushed, this second season of “Diablero” is more interesting still than the first one and again they leave the doors open for a third season, which I’m already expecting with diabolical thirst.

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