While we await the reopening of cinemas across the UK, MUBI are currently releasing some of the most interesting new films for home viewing. New to the platform is Red Moon Tide, Lois Patiño’s phantasmagorical tale of ghosts, sea monsters, and witches. 

Set in Galicia, Patiño draws on the area’s rich stories of myths and the afterlife. He cultivates a truly uneasy, eerie air from the outset, with Red Moon Tide lying somewhere in the moments between sleep and awakening. Here the land and the people stand still, frozen in the grasp of the moon and an unseen sea monster.

The vague storyline is that a local diver, Rubio, has gone missing at sea. Yet it seems his hometown has long been engulfed by supernatural forces, but for how long is never clear. His mother calls to three witches to help bring him back and break the curse. The witches are the only people in the village that can move, with everyone else frozen in time, their voices heard but seemingly only telepathically. The movements of the witches are slow and deliberate, much like the pace of the film as a whole. Fast-paced horror this is not, the film feels more akin to slowly flicking through a scrapbook of disturbing postcards.

Also the film’s cinematographer, Patiño uses the area’s diverse landscapes to build this other-worldly feel. Caves, lagoons, dams, and people’s homes all come together to create the feeling of a village lost in time, with one of the characters remarking that they are simply the dream of the unseen sea monster.

Red Moon Tide demands patience and attention, and if you allow yourself to be immersed then you’ll be rewarded with a beautifully crafted, unsettling film. As Patiño says in his MUBI introduction: “Films grow like seeds when your gaze waters them lovingly.”


Available to watch on: MUBI


CAST: Rubio de Camelle, Ana Marra, Carmen Martínez

DIRECTOR: Lois Patiño

WRITER: Lois Patiño

SYNOPSIS: In a village where the sea and the moon are near, there was a monster, three witches, many ghosts and a shipwrecked man.