Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Animas Movie Poster Image
Violent Spanish horror movie with mature themes, swearing.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 87 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models. 


Lead character shown engaging in "cutting," taking a razorblade to her side, blood drawn, scars shown. One of the characters attempts suicide, shown foaming at the mouth while in bed. Character hit by a car and killed. Father of lead character is physically abusive -- not shown but strongly implied. Bullies repeatedly kick a boy lying prostrate on the ground. 


Brief nudity, breasts. Reference made to internet pornography. 


Infrequent profanity. "F--k" used a few times. "S--t," "son of a bitch," "hell," "Jesus." 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens drink in a nightclub. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Animas is a 2018 psychological horror movie in which a teen girl makes a shocking discovery when the teen boy who is her best friend starts dating another girl. The movie is in Spanish with English subtitles, and based on a novel. The movie addresses mature topics such as suicide, cutting, bullying, and child abuse. Frequent horror imagery; some blood. Brief nudity: breasts. Infrequent profanity, including "f--k" a few times. Character hit by a car and killed. Teens drink in a nightclub. Overall, the movie is confusing and disorienting until the plot twist is revealed; those looking for a more straightforward horror movie may be annoyed. It's the kind of movie designed to reward repeated viewing. 

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What's the story?

In ANIMAS, Alex and Abraham are teenagers who have been best friends since childhood. As they get closer to high school graduation, Alex deals with her stress by cutting herself with razor blades and burning herself by taking scalding showers, and Abraham contends with loneliness and an abusive father. But when Abraham, with some nudging from Alex, finally works up the nerve to approach his longtime crush Anchi, life for both Alex and Abraham becomes increasingly bizarre. They both begin to have nightmarish visions and experience disorienting jumps in time and place. As Anchi and Abraham's relationship begins to grow, Abraham and Alex's friendship begins to fray. Alex must try to make sense of her existence as Abraham uncovers a shocking truth while working his psychiatrist. 

Is it any good?

This is one of those psychological thrillers that rewards repeated viewings. Until the big twist is revealed, the movie is confusing and disorienting, seemingly adrift in a choppy sea of abrupt time shifts, ghostly apparitions, and daunting adolescent complications. After said big twist is revealed, the chaos begins to make sense. That said, the enjoyment of Animas is inevitably dependent on how rewarding you find the "big reveal" to be, and whether or not the journey to get there was worth it. 

It doesn't break any new ground in terms of style, and the substance is, for all the camera trickery and psychological mind games, rooted in the struggles and angst of the average emo teen of the 21st century. Nonetheless, Animas is an entertaining and rewarding experience once the haze of the storyline and the tomfoolery of Film School 101 enchantment lifts. Like any good psychological movie, the effort to pay attention pays off, and the lingering head-scratching hours after viewing is enjoyable in and of itself. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about movies based on books. What would be the challenge in adapting a book into a movie? 

  • How does Animas address topics such as suicide, bullying, self harm, and child abuse? 

  • How does this compare to other "psychological" horror movies you've seen? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scary movies

Themes & Topics

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