'Diablero' Is An Inconsistent Mess
Demons in horror shows have really become a staple of the genre. With Netflix continuing to add more and more foreign films and shows to their roster, it seems like a no-brainer to make a foreign horror Netflix original. The newest addition to the Netflix family being the Spanish horror comedy show, Diablero. The 8-episode series is based on the book El Diablo Me Obligó (The Devil Forced Me) written by F.G. Hagenbeck. The writers have a great idea for a show as well as a lot of potential, though falls flat in terms of pacing and inconsistent design choices.
Diablero is about a world where there was an angel for every demon and they kept each other at balance, but the angels abandoned humans after all of their sins, creating a need for Diableros to keep the demons from interacting with the humans. The story follows a Diablero, his sister, a priest, and a woman who allows demons to enter her body to control them; as they search for the priest’s daughter, who has been taken by an incredibly powerful demon.
One of the biggest strengths of the series is its ability to perfectly blend horror and comedy together. The series has crazy demons, dozens of deaths, and involves a little girl getting kidnapped, yet even with all that the show feels very lighthearted. Its mainly thanks to the writing of the main characters and their personalities, as the characters are really the ones that make the comedy instead of the situations that they are in. The priest, Father Ramiro Ventura (Christopher Von Uckermann) and the woman who controls demons, Nancy Gama (Fatima Molina), keep the show lively with their hilarious relationship. There are many times that she does things that go against everything that Ventura stands for and it’s always fun to watch. Like when she washes her face with holy water and he tries to tell her she can’t but she simply says that if it was really holy water she would’ve burned already, and he just accepts it. Gama is always such a nonchalant character that her interacting with so many serious topics is always funny to watch, like when they are trying to get information on Ventura’s daughter and Gama is just chugging hot sauce like it’s nothing. Even when neither of them are on the screen the comedy comes from Elvis Infante (Horacio Garcia Rojas), who is the Diablero of the group, and whenever he’s not explaining things about demons, he’s usually being hilariously sarcastic, like whenever he jokes to the priest about getting a woman pregnant. All of the characters are so funny and really interact so smoothly with each other that even small subtle jokes are funnier.
The show is about more than just comedy, it’s really all about the demons. The demons are fleshed out throughout the show through how they are classified. Unfortunately, even though the show is all about the demons, the design for them is extremely inconsistent. While the look of the possessed people worked, the demons were hit or miss. When the demons possess people, their real form can only be seen in reflections. The demons in episode two look incredible as you see them in a cage fight, they have a creative design and look amazing through the reflections. However, the demons in the last episode when you get the pay-off of the strongest demon, looked bland and cheesy like it was created for a completely different show.
The series really created an amazing world though, with a demon level system and many magical items, spells and potions adding to the lore. However, the show really suffers from its extreme change of pace in the middle of the series. It was really disappointing when the world that they create all around them was so vast and amazing and they barely explored any of it later in the season. The show would’ve been more enjoyable if it had paced itself a little slower and gave us a few more episodes to explore a lot of the world that was mentioned but never shown to us.
Diablero was definitely a fun show to watch with all of its comedic moments and interesting world design. However, the whole show feels like it could have been a lot more with all of the world that it built around the characters, and the design towards the end dropped greatly making the finale feel disappointing in comparison to the rest of the series. Though, the show is worth watching if you’re looking for a new show to quickly binge.