Director: Sara Seligman
Writer: Sara Seligman, Thomas James Bond (Screenplay)
Starring: Camila Mendes, Adriana Barraza, Charlie Weber, Neil Sandilands
Plot: Ester and her overbearing mother run a small bed-and-breakfast near the US/Mexico border. Two unwanted guests arrive, threatening everyone’s safety. But the two women hide a secret that may prove the most dangerous of all.
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Coyote Lake starts as we see how Ester (Mendes) and her mother Teresa (Barraza) run a small bed-and-breakfast by the US/Mexico border, they have a routine, which will see them drug the guest, and when their latest operation is going on, they get unwanted guests, Paco (Velez) and the injured Ignacio (Perez).
Both sides are looking at the next step of their lives, with both having their own plans with what to do with each other, making the blossoming romance between Ester and Paco, even more dangerous.
Thoughts on Coyote Lake
Characters – Ester is the daughter that has been working with her mother for years on trying to raise money by killing guests at the bed-and-breakfast, she hasn’t seen the outside world before, with her only trip being to collect the drugs to knock the victims out, when Paco shows her more of what could be, she finds herself wanting to stop and escape this world. Teresa is the mother of Ester, her husband was killed by the Cartel and now she has raised Ester to follow her work to kill the guests, she claims it is to escape the world, but she never seems to get to far away. Paco is the young dealer that wants to help Ester escape this world, he sees that she wants more from her life and he would like to offer it to her.
Performances – Camila Mendes brings all the innocence to her role, showing how she has been pushed into this life without knowing more, starting to question what is right. Adriana Barraza brings the cold-hearted mother role to life, where she can come off like the sweet old lady, but is hiding the darker side. Andrew Velez shows us that both sides of the criminal lines are filled with people pushed into them with his desperate to escape role.
Story – The story here follows a mother and daughter living away form the world that have their own scheme, where they are killing the guests at their bed-and-breakfast, a plan which they have been running for a while, which gets interrupted when two dealers stumble upon them, looking to take control of the property. This is a story which shows us two young people that have been dragged into a criminal world, one they didn’t want to be part of by their elders, never getting to live the life of a free honest person. Add in the cat-n-mouse style battle between the two sides, who both have a plan for each other, while it could mean risking more. We get a feeling of watching ‘Dexter’ too through this film, with the operation seemingly to be going so smoothly. This does show us how people can be led astray and how they need to earn their freedom, with a tension that can be sliced with a knife, you will be left wondering who will make it out alive.
Crime – The crime side of this film shows us two operations going on, first the murderous mother and daughter, then the dealing men that come together in a battle to stay ahead of each other’s secrets or plans.
Settings – Most of the film is set in the remote isolated bed-and-breakfast, which does play into the ideas that Ester and Teresa are doing, no one will see what they are doing or miss the people staying there.
Scene of the Movie – Ester’s boat trip.
Final Thoughts – Coyote Lake is a tense affair that will see two different styles of criminals trying to stay ahead of each other in a cat-n-mouse game.