Director Gigi Saul Guerrero has called the current U.S.-Mexico border crisis “everybody’s horror story.” The Mexican-Canadian filmmaker was speaking at a Q&A after a screening of her film Culture Shock (debuts on Hulu, July 4) at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, Saturday afternoon. In the movie, which is part of Hulu’s Into the Dark series of horror films, Martha Higareda plays a pregnant Mexican woman who is caught attempting to illegally cross into the U.S. and wakes up in a picture-perfect American town where all the residents are eager to make her feel at home. This being a horror movie, it does not spoil much to reveal that things are not exactly what they seem.
“I think it’s everybody’s horror story, at the end of the day, what’s going on today,” said Guerrero, talking about her movie’s topical nature. “I just wanted to speak about it.”
The filmmaker also recalled her determination to reflect her Mexican heritage in the movie.
“I pitched [several] times to direct this,” said Guerrero. “Each time, I would remind them very much that I’m a Latin, and if you hire me this is going to be so Mexican, I promise you. If you let me do this, this is will be so Mexa, that it will go a long way [to have people] appreciate it.”
Culture Shock costars Richard Cabral, Shawn Ashmore, Felipe de Lara, Ian Inigo, Creed Bratton from The Office, and horror legend Barbara Crampton, who also addressed the film’s topicality in the course of the Q&A.
“For me, this is something which has a message, that has something to say, and I think some of the best horror movies are movies that talk about society, and cultural things, and have some sort of message,” said the actress, whose credits include Re-Animator and You’re Next.
The screening of Culture Shock was part of Etheria Film Night, a showcase of genre films made by emerging women directors. Later in the day, producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, Aliens, The Walking Dead) was presented with Etheria’s Inspiration Award by Roger Corman.
Watch the trailer for Culture Shock above.