Even if you don’t recognize the name or face, if you’re more than just a casual fan of 21st Century horror movies, chances are you’ve seen Javier Botet (above)—and he’s scared the hell out of you! The lauded body actor is highly sought after by filmmakers looking to bring impossibly terrifying characters to life. Since breaking through in the Spanish found footage masterpiece [REC] (directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, released in 2007) Botet has brought his unique skills to the sets of Mama, Crimson Peak, The Conjuring 2, and many others.
Botet lives with potentially debilitating Marfan Syndrome, a condition associated with a mutation in the fibrillin-1 gene; symptoms include: Large size, abnormal growth of bones, and ligamentous laxity. Botet grew to stand over 6 feet tall, yet only weighs about 120 pounds; his arms, legs, and fingers are exceptionally long and thin. Even though the condition comes with cardiovascular limitation, Botet always brings his A-game, showing true commitment to his craft.
Below are the top 10 times Javier Botet shocked us senseless! Have a look and let us know what you think in the Comments section. Who’s your favorite Botet character?
Beneath Still Waters (2005, Directed by Brian Yuzna)
Character: The Humanoid
Official Synopsis: After decades of silence, malevolent spirits resurface to terrorize townspeople.
Botet’s very first film, Beneath Still Waters, is an incredibly underrated Lovecraftian horror movie from Brian Yuzna, director of Bride of Re-Animator and Beyond Re-animator, among others. The actor plays a sinister underwater humanoid who brings the terror in a major way. It’s easy to see how he became an instant star in the world of body acting. Blink and you’ll miss him in the trailer above, so get a good look at the beautiful monstrosity below.
[REC] (2007, Directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza)
Character: Niña Medeiros
Official Synopsis: A reporter (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman record the horrifying outbreak of a disease that turns humans into vicious cannibals.
Those who missed Botet’s brilliant debut in Beneath Still Waters were blown away by his portrayal of the Medeiros girl in [REC]. Bathed in the eerie green glow of night-vision, the character appears at the film’s climax in a moment of extreme terror and suspense. The character is a carrier for both demonic entities and a disease that turns people into rabid 28 Days Later-style zombies. Check out Botet in the climactic scene above. Then, check out what it took to bring the Medeiros girl to hideous fruition in the behind the scenes vid below.
Mama (2013, Directed by Andrés Muschietti) [Featured Image]
Official Synopsis: On the day that their parents die, sisters Lilly and Victoria vanish in the woods, prompting a frantic search by their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain). Five years later, miraculously, the girls are found alive in a decaying cabin, and Lucas and Annabel welcome them into their home. But as Annabel tries to reintroduce the children to a normal life, she finds that someone — or something — still wants to tuck them in at night.
As the titular ghost in Mama, Botet elevated the horror as a supernatural entity, unaffected by the law of gravity. The actor’s unique movements and an appropriate amount of CGI created a truly unforgettable manifestation, one that sent audiences reeling. Check him out in the trailer above; the video below is test footage of Botet’s movements, and it’s actually more creepy than many of the final results.
Witching & Bitching (2013, Directed by Álex de la Iglesia)
Official Synopsis: Jewel thieves flee into the Basque forests and are captured by a coven of witches.
While he had a role in Álex de la Iglesia’s first feature film, The Last Circus, as an unnerving contortionist, his appearance as the salve Luisimi (aka “The Rotting Teenager”) in Witching & Bitching is definitely disturbing! We find his character, the grandson of the matriarchal leader of a super-coven of witches, in a dungeon where it looks like he’s been completely forgotten. Botet’s frame is fitting for a man who’s starving and leprous, as well as a warlock harboring potential unknown powers. Check him out in the screenshot above, and peep the trailer & Botet character poster for Witching & Bitching below.
Crimson Peak (2015, Directed by Guillermo del Toro)
Characters: Enola / Margaret / Pamela
Official Synopsis: After marrying the charming and seductive Sir Thomas Sharpe, young Edith (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself swept away to his remote gothic mansion in the English hills. Also living there is Lady Lucille, Thomas’ alluring sister and protector of her family’s dark secrets. Able to communicate with the dead, Edith tries to decipher the mystery behind the ghostly visions that haunt her new home. As she comes closer to the truth, Edith may learn that true monsters are made of flesh and blood.
Guillermo del Toro met Botet on the set of Mama (which he produced); recruiting him for Crimson Peak in 2015 was a match made in Gothic Heaven. The actor played a trio of the film’s most terrifying specters, the ghosts of Margaret McDermott, Pamela Upton and Enola Sciotti. Caked in blood-red mud, these manifestations have a macabre beauty and primal grotesquery. Check out how Botet and fellow body actor Doug Jones were transformed into terrifying phantoms in the video below.
Related Article: 21st Century Masters of Horror
The Revenant (2016), Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Character: Nightmare Character (Cut)
Official Synopsis: While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack. When a member (Tom Hardy) of his hunting team kills his young son (Forrest Goodluck) and leaves him for dead, Glass must utilize his survival skills to find a way back to civilization. Grief-stricken and fueled by vengeance, the legendary fur trapper treks through the snowy terrain to track down the man who betrayed him.
With a run-time of over 2.5 hours, The Revenant is packed with frontier era violence and gory imagery. One scene left on the cutting room floor, however, featured Botet appearing to Hugh Glass (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) in a fever dream. The actor told The Daily Star: “The scene was a nightmare to do with the bear attack, there was a lot of blood.” Sadly, the scene was not included in the Blu-ray/DVD releases of The Revenant, so we may never know just how nightmarish Botet’s character was. Bummer. (Source)
The Other Side of the Door (2016, Directed by Johannes Roberts)
Official Synopsis: Maria (Sarah Wayne Callies) becomes consumed with guilt after losing her son Oliver (Logan Creran) in a tragic accident. She learns about a remote Hindu temple where visitors can communicate with the dead to say goodbye for the last time. The grieving mother disobeys a dire warning to never open the ancient door that serves as a mysterious portal. Her failure to follow the rules causes Oliver’s restless spirit to return home and haunt the rest of his family (Jeremy Sisto, Sofia Rosinsky).
A pair of extra arms made Botet especially captivating as a manifestation of the Hindu deity Myrtu in The Other Side of the Door, a character who guards the ethereal border between life and death.
Related Article: EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Horror Heavyweight Alexandre Aja
The Conjuring 2 (2016, Directed by James Wan)
Character: The Crooked Man
Official Synopsis: In 1977, paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren come out of a self-imposed sabbatical to travel to Enfield, a borough in north London. There, they meet Peggy Hodgson, an overwhelmed single mother of four who tells the couple that something evil is in her home. Ed and Lorraine believe her story when the youngest daughter starts to show signs of demonic possession. As the Warrens try to help the besieged girl, they become the next targets of the malicious spirit.
The Conjuring franchise has a knack for introducing side characters that steal the show. First, it was the devil doll Annabelle whose second film, Annabelle: Creation, hits theaters this summer. Then, in the Conjuring 2, the demon nun Valak made such an impression, she’s getting her own feature film in 2018. Also introduced in C2 was The Crooked Man (played by Botet), a nursery rhyme character who springs to life as a terrifying fiend with a ghastly, toothy grin. Maybe we’ll get a Wan-produced Crooked Man movie someday!
Related Article: $900M Lawsuit Threatens to Make “The Conjuring” Franchise Disappear
Don’t Knock Twice (2017, Directed by Caradog W. James)
Character: Ghost of Ginger
Official Synopsis: A mother looking to reconnect with her estranged daughter attracts the attention of a demonic witch.
Don’t Knock Twice is a decent supernatural horror flick out of the UK; the scariest moments, hands down, feature Botet as the ghost of a witchy child-snatcher named Ginger.
Alien: Covenant (2017, Directed by Ridley Scott)
Official Synopsis: Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members (Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup) of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. While there, they meet David (Michael Fassbender), the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.
He isn’t listed on the films IMDB page, but Botet is lending his talents to Ridley Scott’s impending Alien-prequel/Prometheus-sequel, Alien: Covenant (via a motion capture suit).
Javier Botet is Alien: Covenant’s Xenomorph! Standing at a staggering 1.97 meters tall, Javier is a Spanish actor who was born with Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting connective tissue. The result of Marfan Syndrome leaves its affected with elongated limbs and joints. People diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome tend to be very tall and lanky, as well as extremely flexible. Javier has made the most of his condition by playing various non-human characters in a variety of popular films. His latest venture is none other than the nightmarish Protomorph / Xenomorph in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus sequel!
Alien: Covenant won’t be released until May 19th, but Botet has already thrilled fans of the franchise by appearing in the promos. Check him out at the climax of the trailer above.
Related Article: Before “Alien: Covenant” Check Out These 3 Real-Life Creepy Cases of Ancient Aliens
IT (2017, Directed by Andrés Muschietti)
Character: The Leper
Official Synopsis: When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, neighborhood kids band together to square off against Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), an evil clown whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
Pennywise, played by Bill Skarsgård, won’t be the only terrifying villain stalking The Losers’ Club when Andrés Muschietti’s IT crawls out of the sewers and into US Theaters on September 8th; Botet will play The Leper, a disgusting sexually predator who featured prominently in Stephen King’s bestselling novel, but was absent in 1990’s miniseries. It will be a reunion of sorts for Botet and Muschietti worked closely together on Mama. Blink and you’ll miss him in the trailer above, but you can check him out in more detail in the pics below.