Chupa is a fantasy adventure film set in Mexico that follows a 13-year-old Alex visiting his extended family for the first time. He discovers a chupacabra living in his grandfather’s shed and joins his cousins in helping the creature find its family. It is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Chupa is set in 1996 and opens in San Javier, Mexico. Scientist Richard Quinn and his team search a cavern for a mysterious legendary creature called the chupacabra and finally corner a young cub.
It is small like a puppy but has sharp teeth, retractable claws, and wings. Before it is captured, the tot is saved by a fully grown and lethal chupacabra.
As the adult and the baby escape, Quinn injures the former’s wing with a flare. Unable to fly away, the beast takes off on foot and crashes into a car. To keep the baby safe, the adult chupacabra distracts Quinn’s team and leads them in the opposite direction.
News channels start reporting stories on El Chupacabra draining goats of blood in Latin America. Elsewhere in Kansas City, we are introduced to Alex, a 13-year-old boy who struggles to fit in and constantly deals with bullying.
We discover he recently lost his father to cancer and hasn’t processed his grief. Furthermore, he dislikes his Mexican heritage as no one in his school is Latino.
His mom tries to comfort Alex and talks about an upcoming trip to San Javier, where his grandfather, Chava, owns a ranch. The kid isn’t too excited about meeting his cousins and grandpa as he doesn’t remember them but agrees to go.
Alex flies to San Javier and is received by Chava. The old timer is surprised to learn that his grandson doesn’t speak much Spanish and is always immersed in his handheld video game.
At home, Alex meets his cousins; the Lucha libre-obsessed Memo, who doesn’t speak English, and the chill Luna. As a bonding moment, they show Alex old tapes of Chava, who used to be one of the best Luchadors of his time.
Outside, Luna notices a sick goat and makes it known to everyone. The poor animal has fang marks on its body and the kids exclaim it’s the work of a chupacabra. Chava rubbishes these notions and says that those creatures only exist in folklore.
As everyone goes back inside, Alex notices the fang marks magically heal themselves. Elsewhere, Quinn is visited by his investors’ envoy who isn’t happy that all that was received was a blue-tinted feather.
He reveals that Quinn promised them the capture of these creatures as they have healing powers. The desperate scientist asks for more time but is given a week.
That night, Alex notices Chava walk into the shed with a music box. He follows him but gets scared as he notices rustling in the nearby bushes.
However, it turns out to be just a rabbit. Chava calls Alex by his dad’s name and is slightly confused. He notices the boy cut his hand and takes him inside.
The next morning, Alex wakes up to find the young chupacabra cub on his bed, licking his hand. He screams and the creature bolts out the window. Shockingly, the wound on his hand heals immediately.
Later, Luna and Alex have a heartfelt conversation about his dad and their family. Memo arrives and reveals that Chava is missing. This is when Luna explains that their grandfather suffers from bouts of dementia, forgets things, and wanders off.
Luckily, Luna can drive, and the trio heads out to find the old man. After a quick visit to the market, they locate him wandering with a goat and pick him up.
On their way back, they pass by Quinn’s team, who are still searching for the creatures. They find a license plate on the side of the road and figure out that the adult chupacabra crashed into a vehicle.
Chupa ending explained in detail:
How does Alex find Chupa?
Alex believes that Chava is hiding something and decides to test his theory. He takes the music box into the shed himself and plays it. Soon, the young cub shows up.
A startled Alex finds the little thing extremely cute and bonds with it. The cub gets scared because of the booming thunder, and Alex embraces it to make it feel safe. The next morning, Memo comes looking for his cousin and sees the cub too.
Soon, Luna also walks in on them. The chupacabra befriends the three kids, and Alex decides to call it Chupa. Chava shows up and discloses that he knew about Chupa and was keeping him safe.
It is also revealed that it was his car the adult creature collided with. When he went back to get it towed, he found Chupa and brought him home.
At that moment, Quinn comes knocking on Chava’s door because of the license plate and demands to have a look around the property. The old man refuses and asks him to leave. Days pass, and Chupa becomes friendlier with the kids.
How is Chupa captured?
Alex bonds with him and processes his grief while Memo tries to teach him to fly. Chava takes this as an opportunity to talk to Alex about his father. The boy refuses, and the grandpa takes away his video game.
He says that if he wants it back, he will have to fight him. They wrestle, and Chava encourages Alex to release his pent-up grief and anger into the fight. After the former wrestler pins his grandson, Alex pushes him out of frustration, causing him to fall and pass out.
As the old man recovers, Quinn discreetly shows up, enters the shed, and corners Chupa. The kids try to stop him, but he sedates the cub and prepares to take it away.
Alex wakes his grandfather up, but he doesn’t remember anything. He uses the dementia episode to trigger Chava’s wrestling memories and claims that his arch-rival has invaded the house.
Chava gets up, puts on his wrestling attire, and confronts a confused Quinn. In the resulting scuffle, Chava dropkicks the scientist and steals his vehicle with the kids. They finally decide to try and find Chupa’s family by driving to the car crash site.
Who saves Alex?
Once they reach the spot, Chupa gets excited and runs off, and Alex rushes behind him. They reach the edge of a cliff, and Chupa howls into the open space.
After hearing a howl in response, he bids farewell to Alex and rushes across the valley using a pipe. Unfortunately, the boy gets cornered by a cougar and climbs the pipe in fear.
Chava, Memo, and Luna arrive and scare off the wild cat. Unfortunately, the pipe starts crumbling, and Alex hangs on for dear life. Chupa hears his friend’s screams and returns to save him.
Alex grabs onto Chupa’s tail as they fall, but the cub finally masters his flying skills and saves them both.
Does Chupa reunite with his family?
Sadly, Quinn shows up again and sedates the cub. He uses an electrocution stick to threaten the family and puts Chupa in his vehicle. As he drives off, four adult chupacabra come flying (including the one from the beginning) and attack the car.
Quinn gets out, and Chava hits him with a suplex. Chupa is finally free and reunites with his family. Alex tells Chupa that he’ll always be by his side as the cub flies off.
Having saved the day, the family decides to head back for some tacos. On the day of Alex’s flight back to Kansas City, Luna gives him her Walkman and makes him a mixtape of Mexican songs. Memo, true to himself, attacks his cousin with a wrestling move.
At the airstrip, Chava is revealed to be moving in with Luna and Memo’s family due to his condition. He asks Alex to remember this holiday since his memory cannot be trusted anymore.
Alex gives him his video game and hugs him. On the plane, he looks out the window to see Chupa flying next to him as the screen cuts to black.