In Tin & Tina, the year is 1981 and on the day of their wedding, Adolfo and Lola suffer a miscarriage. What should be the happiest time of their lives quickly turns into their worst nightmare, as Lola is rushed to the hospital in her wedding dress.
Due to complications with the miscarriage, the couple are told they will now be unable to have any more children. But desperate to become parents, Adolfo and Lola look into adopting a child from the local convent instead, even though they are still dealing with their recent tragedy.
After meeting with the Mother Superior, the couple are paired with two seven-year-old twins called Tin and Tina. Although they are older than Adolfo would like, Lola warms to them instantly and soon the twins are adopted.
Taking them home, Adolfo and Lola introduce the children to their house and get ready to start a new life together. But as they soon discover, there is something not quite right about Tin and Tina, leading to some worrying times ahead.
Written and directed by Rubin Stein, and adapted from Stein’s short film of the same name, Tin & Tina is a Spanish psychological horror-thriller starring Milena Smit, Jaime Lorente, Carlos González Morollón, and Anastasia Russo. The movie is new to Netflix from today (after making its Spanish debut back in March), and if you like unsettling horror stories with creepy kids, then this one is for you.
Featuring nods to such horror classics as The Omen, Village of the Damned, and Rosemary’s Baby, Tin & Tina is a film about two unusual children who wreak havoc on the lives of a young couple. Across the course of the movie, Adolfo and Lola take these children into their hearts, and then come to regret their decision quite quickly.
But unlike many horror films of this ilk, which make it clear the children are inherently evil in the story, Tin & Tina repositions this idea to suggest the pair may just be misguided kids. The twins spent their early years in a convent, and are shown to be deeply religious, so the film takes the stance that any disturbing behaviour is due to a misunderstanding on their part, rather than the work of Satan.
What helps sell this concept are the two young actors themselves, Carlos González Morollón and Anastasia Russo. The pair are suitably strange throughout the film, they completely nail the roles they are given, and they bring plenty of chills to the screen.
As much as Tin & Tina is about the children, and about showcasing their skewed view of life, the movie is also about a mother who is caught up in the middle. Lola wants to do right by her adopted children, and wants to see the good in them, but she knows things are not as they should be.
At the same time, this is a woman who is dealing with grief. It has only been six months since she suffered a miscarriage, so the pain and upset still feels very raw.
Ultimately, Lola is conflicted about her role as a mother. Does she care so much about the twins because she loves them, or because she desperately wants children?
This is something she has to wrestle with as the film progresses, and her feelings toward the children begin to change. Whatever their motivations, Lola is convinced something is dreadfully wrong with Tin and Tina and this becomes a key part of the story.
As with the two young actors, Milena Smit is excellent in the role of Lola and brings so much to this film. During the movie she moves from loving mother, to concerned parent, and then to paranoid protector, and it all seems so effortless.
As Smit takes Lola through a mental transformation, she also goes through a physical transformation too, and the actress really leans into this. She sells the heck out of the stress and heartbreak or her situation, with pain and grief etched across her face, and she’s captivating to watch.
There is a lot to like in this film, and I don’t want to undersell all the technical aspects (the music, use of lighting, staging, etc), but the performances from the cast really stand out. Everyone in this movie understands the subtle horror that is being played out, and at no point does anyone overstep the mark or underplay the material.
What you get with Tin & Tina is a film which works because it has been expertly put together in every way possible. However, it is also clear that everyone on screen knows they are involved in something special.
With Tin & Tina, writer/director Rubin Stein presents a thoroughly compelling, truly troubling picture which looks at motherhood and the inner conflicts and anguishes that can go with it. He creates a story which hits all the right beats, doesn’t drop the ball, and includes multiple moments which raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
With this being Stein’s first feature-length picture, this is a superb starting point, and a movie to be proud of. While the director might delve into a few classic horror movies to help establish the look and feel of this film, what he’s really doing is making a new classic himself.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.
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