Horror Favourites – Luis Javier Henaine

If you’re flicking through Netflix looking for your next scare, let us point you in the direction of the dark and deadly Desaparecer por Completo aka Disappear Completely. Recently, we grabbed the man behind the menace, Mexican screenwriter, producer and director, Luis Javier Henaine to chat about his movie and more…

Desaparecer por Completo aka Disappear Completely

Santiago Mendoza is the best tabloid crime photographer in Mexico City, but his profession has made him insensitive and incapable of showing affection to his wife Marcela. One night, Santiago intercepts an emergency call and despite the police’s warnings, he infiltrates a disturbing crime scene.

Soon after, he begins to suffer a mysterious illness that makes him lose, one by one, his five senses. Without knowing what’s wrong with him or why, Santiago must find a solution to this affliction, before the world he knows disappears completely.

Luis Javier Henaine graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. His debut feature Tiempos Felices (Happy Times), had its world premiere at Morelia International Film Festival (2014) and Solteras (Bachelorettes; Ready to Mingle), his second feature film, premiered at Guadalajara International Film Festival (2019). Both of them were in the top ten highest grossing Mexican films and received a Mexican Academy Award nomination, in addition to being released on Netflix worldwide. Desaparecer por Completo (Disappear Completely), was part of the Official Selection at Fantastic Fest and Morelia International Film Festival.

Talking about his film Luis said “Desaparecer por Completo is my third feature film, switching from comedy to explore new territory with a Supernatural Thriller that delves into two very important aspects of Mexican Culture – Nota Roja (Tabloid Crime Journalism) and Brujería (Witchcraft) – both of which are a reflection of my country by way of our superstitions and the lack of sensitivity that we’ve become used to in our daily lives. Though ultimately, the film is a very intimate and personal drama about a photographer with artistic ambitions, who struggles to find balance between his career and his marriage, while taking “life” for granted.”

Below Luis Javier Henaine tells us all about his favorite scary movie:

“That’s a tough question because there are so many great ones, from classics like Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, The Evil Dead and Cronos, to more recent gems like The Witch, Hereditary, The Wailing and It Follows, or horror comedies, such as An American Werewolf in London, The Day of the Beast, Get Out and Drag Me to Hell. But if I had to choose one, it would have to be Halloween (1978).

I remember watching it when I was around 8 or 9 years old, without my parents’ permission, of course. I saw it on TV, so it was probably the edited version, but there was something about it that captivated me. I was scared, yet utterly transfixed by its eerie atmosphere and minimalist storytelling.

Despite the sleepless nights it caused me, I couldn’t help but love it. As I grew up, I came to appreciate its finer details, from Carpenter’s style and use of suspense, to his music—the best horror score ever—and the way it paved the way for modern slashers despite its low-budget origins. It’s now a tradition for me to watch it every Halloween night, and it still remains masterful.

Another film that haunted my childhood dreams was A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy seemed to seep into my nightmares all the time.

All things considered, if I had to choose the ultimate horror film, it would undoubtedly be The Exorcist. It’s just perfect.”

Disappear Completely is on Netflix now.

Disappear Completely trailer

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Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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