This film reimagines the Mary and Joseph story with some nice supernatural and twenty-first-century twists. We first meet Maria, an innocent teen in Belize who inexplicably finds herself pregnant. A menacing stranger arrives to kill her, but she escapes after he slays her friends and family. The stranger tells people he is Baal, a biblical character sent by the devil; it seems he cannot be killed. Mary sets off on foot to the U.S. She is fleeing Baal and the Herod Virus that kills newborns. She knows her baby’s odds will improve if she gets to Texas.
She reaches a town on the Mexican side of the border where she meets Jose. He is a young man with a good life there; he has a home, a vehicle, and a carpenter job in the construction trades. He has no reason the help her and initially rebuffs her pleas. In the past, he worked to complete a tunnel from Mexico to the States owned by a local drug lord. Unbeknownst to the cartel, the lower-level man Jose worked for also secretly uses the tunnel to get people across the border. After learning about the tunnel, Maria asks Jose to use it to get her across. After much trouble, Jose finally agrees. Along the journey, she meets Gabrielle, an angel in human form who tries to watch over Maria. With Baal and the cartel boss after them, Maria and Jose try to make it to the Texas hill country where they will be safe.
The film does well in mixing the different genres of immigration stories, horror films, virus cautionary tales, and Bible stories. You can suspend disbelief as you are swept along the fast-paced road we travel to a promised land of peace and safety. It’s always good to find Jack Huston in a film; he is delightfully evil here. Angela Sarafyan is beautiful, and you might know Natalia del Riego (Maria) from NCIS Los Angeles. Our Joseph, Benny Emmanuel, was in the well-received Sin Nombre. Director Rosemary Rodriguez has worked in television for some years and brings a well-seasoned view to the film. It’s one you should take advantage of.
Director: Rosemary Rodriguez
Writer: Knate Lee
Starring: Jack Huston as Baal
Angela Sarafyan as Gabriella
Natalia del Riego as Maria
Benny Emmanuel as Jose