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An Otherwise Cute-Looking Monster Movie’s Title Has the Internet Cackling

Bombastic side-eye. Criminal offensive side-eye

A child and small fantasy creature look into each other's eyes on Netflix's Chupa poster.

Netflix has had a few controversies in its time as one of the leading streaming services, but they’re usually a lot more sinister than this one. On Wednesday (March 15, 2023), Netflix dropped a new trailer for their new film, which is titled Chupa.

The film follows a young boy who is sent away to be with his cousins and distant family in San Javier. Whilst he is there, a dog-looking creature is discovered, which they name El Chupacabra—a creature of real-world folklore. The kids find it and name him Chupa for short, but the problem is that’s not very kid-movie friendly.

Now, although it sounds quite cute when said by the children of the cast, many people in the comments of the trailer and elsewhere on social media think that Netflix should’ve maybe rethought this one.

Many people have pointed out that the word “chupa” can be used as slang when talking about blowjobs in a few languages, including Portuguese, Spanish, and Filipino, as it translates to “to suck” or “suck.” However, there’s probably a bit more knowledge of this whole thing behind the scenes than perhaps people think, because halfway through the trailer, one of the kids says, “You know chupa means sucker, right?” Likewise, the movie’s director, Jonás Cuarón, is Mexican, so it’s unlikely this is lost on him. Maybe he thought we could all be a little more mature?

But as everyone’s favourite TikTok sound right now says, bombastic side-eye Netflix, CRIMINAL OFFENSIVE.

In the comments under the trailer on YouTube, most people were saying how “adorable” Chupa was, but some non-English speakers commented their amusement.

One person wrote, “As a Filipino, you might crack up or get confused by the title at first because the word is kinda vulgar and some folks consider it a taboo in our language. But hey, I’m stoked to watch this flick because it looks really intriguing. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up loving CHUPA after all! HAHAHAHA.”

Another said, “As a Filipino. I love the title literally. It’s just heaven! lol.”

On Twitter, people were also talking about the film’s title.

Author El Norte Recuerda wrote, “Imagine the sheer amount of people this title went through at @netflix all the way to ‘release promo movie poster’ for no one to tell them that you can’t shorten the word ‘chupacabra’ with ‘chupa’ because it literally means ‘to suck off’ … like kids should not google this word.”

Did Cuarón just expect more maturity out of us or what? We are truly baffled but thankful for the laughs nonetheless.

Chupa drops on Netflix on April 7.

(featured image: Netflix)

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Brooke Pollock is a UK-based entertainment journalist who talks incessantly about her thoughts on pop culture. She can often be found with her headphones on listening to an array of music, scrolling through social media, at the cinema with a large popcorn, or laying in bed as she binges the latest TV releases.