reading time 2 minutes
A married couple adopts a deeply religious brother and sister in a hilarious but accurate Spanish thriller.
Sometimes a horror movie is unintentionally hilarious in a negative sense. See, for example, Ari Aster’s films (Hereditary, Midsummer). But Tin & Tina by the Spanish horror maker Rubin Stein, it must have a macabre wit. The film, set in 1981, revolves around the couple Lola (Milena Smit) and Adolfo (Jaime Lorente from The Money Heist) that their child loses at birth. The two then try to fill the void in their lives by adopting twins from a convent. Tin (Carlos Gonzáles Morollón) and Tina (Anastasia Russo) look strange: their skin color is white, as are their hairstyles.
They were raised by nuns and are therefore extremely devout. On the day they move into Lola and Adolfo’s villa, they immediately give their new father a crown of thorns during dinner. Does he want to pray before dinner? The next morning, Stein shows a close-up of a sandwich with bright red jam that Lola spreads. A sign of doom: the children continue to torment their new parents. This is how they target the dog of the family. All because of the way they interpret the Bible. Which begs the question: is Tin & Tina a critique of orthodox religions?
Nevertheless, Stein’s style is quite daring: he makes the child monsters appear continuously, especially in the first part of the film. Tin & Tina does not lean jump scares, but to the idea that evil sometimes enters your environment in the form of good guises. What is unbelievable is that the misogynist Adolfo, who lets his wife do the housework on her own, constantly condones the twins’ behavior. Even if they push the boundaries in bloody fashion. However, as a viewer you can see right from the start: this is going in the wrong direction; this can only escalate. Stein then does so in a surprising, playful way.
Tin & Tina, on Netflix from Friday, May 26, 2023
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