There is a new icon of horror, and you probably don’t even know his name.
Javier Botet was born in Ciudad Real, Spain in 1977. According to IMDB his first credit was as ‘Humanoid’ in 2005s Beneath Still Waters directed by horror mainstay Brian Yuzna (Bride of Re-Animator). Roles in three TV shows followed his debut before hitting the screen a mere two years later as one of the creepiest characters in all of horror, Niña Medeiros in [Rec].
If you haven’t seen [Rec] you need to, one of the finest examples of what can be achieved with point of view film making, a staple of the found footage subgenre, and a downright creepy ass film. The name Niña Medeiros may not ring any bells when read out loud, but you’ll damn sure recognise the haunting GIF to your left.
That gangling monster lurking in the darkness is Niña, and will haunt dreams for the rest of my life. The actor with the dastardly honour of ruining a good nights sleep is Javier Botet.
After appearing in [Rec] back in 2007 Botet went on to star in a string of shorts, TV series, and films in his native Spain. He can even be seen without the usual tonne of make up in Álex de la Iglesia’s Witching and Bitching as Luismi, the imprisoned brother of one of the witches. Though the aforementioned Spanish found footage horror franchise is where the popularity began, it wasn’t until his casting in Andrés Muschietti’s horror film Mama as the titular character that the international film industry took notice. After playing the deformed spirit of mama with gusto, exaggerated features and all, he subsequently went on a demonic run of playing supernatural entities in horror films. A murderers’ row if you will.
In 2015 he starred in Guillermo Del Toro’s lavish Gothic horror Crimson Peak, playing the haunting trilogy of spirits Enola, Margaret, and Pamela who were killed at the hands of the Sharpe family. This was then followed in 2016 with a double bill of ghoulish characters. Firstly as Myrtu in The Other Side of the Door, a spiritual gate keeper who takes the souls back to the afterlife, and secondly as The Crooked Man in The Conjuring 2. In James Wan’s scary sequel The Crooked Man is a ghastly character from a nursery rhyme brought to life by the films antagonist demon Valek.
If that run of films isn’t enough to demonstrate the waves this man is making in the horror genre then his 2017 credits surely will. This year he is set to star in 4 key horror releases. In the summer we’ll see him pay Set in the reboot of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise. He’ll re-team with Muschietti on It playing The Leper (the nasty thing that Eddie Kaspbrak encounters in the house on 29 Neibolt street which did not feature in the original adaptation) and he also has two unknown roles in sequels Annabelle 2 and Insidious: Chapter 4. Something tells me they won’t be anything pleasant.
What is remarkable about Botet and his abilities is that at a young age he was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects connective tissue. Typical features of somebody with Marfan Syndrome include longer limbs, taller height, and flexible joints. Though rather than succumb to any of its restrictions Botet embraces the unique gifts at his disposal that few others can achieve, and delivers nightmarish performances that will put him down as one of the true greats of the horror genre. What is more, horrors other iconic actors find themselves synonymous with only one or two roles, Botet is devouring them.