An assured, suitably creepy horror/drama/coming-of-age film from writer/director Issa Lpez, Tigers Are Not Afraid takes place in an unnamed drug-war-ruined Mexican city, where young Estrella (Paola Lara) finds herself on the streets with a gang of tough, abandoned kids, led by the tiny, unpredictable Shine (Juan Ramn Lpez).

On the run with these boys—and hiding from a cruel local gang that vanishes adults and children alike—Estrella begins glimpsing eerie visions and hearing the raspy demands of vengeance-thirsty ghosts.

Beautifully shot, and with moving performances from its young cast, Tigers is getting compared a lot to Guillermo del Toro's early work, and for good reason: While it isn't as graceful or inventive as Cronos or The Devil's Backbone, it subtly, effectively creates a sense of something being deeply wrong—both in our world and, perhaps, in one that's right next to it.