5 Latino-Themed Halloween Movies for a Safe Holiday at Home


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By Giselle Balido

October 27, 2020

Start popping the popcorn, because here are some frightfully good horror movies (con acento hispano) to scare you silly on Oct. 31.

We all know that Halloween is the best time to enjoy a scary horror fest. Sadly, due to the pandemic, this year many horror fans will have to create their own creepy movie experience at home.

This is not good news for Latinos, who are big horror freaks. Scary, but true! According to The Hollywood Reporter, a leading industry magazine, Hispanics command the highest share of audience in the horror/thriller genres, as much as 50% of the box office on any given weekend. So to satisfy the lust for blood-curling horror, here are five Latino-themed movies ¡que te pondrán los pelos de punta!

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“The Curse of La Llorona” (2019)

In 1970s Los Angeles, La Llorona is stalking the night in this 2019 film based on the timeless Latin American legend. Ignoring the warning of a mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own kids are drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Can they be saved? Directed by Michael Chaves, it stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, and Patricia Velásquez. Available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime. 

“Vampires vs. the Bronx” (2020)

This scary-good horror comedy follows a trio of Bronx kids fighting a pack of undead bloodsuckers trying to take over their home borough. Dominican filmmaker Oz Rodríguez, a veteran of Saturday Night Live, uses the genre to create a superb allegory for the horrors of displacement in communities of color. Wait for the Latino-inspired ways to kill vampires! Zoe Saldaña stars in a small but unforgettable part. Available to stream on Netflix. 

“Tigers Are Not Afraid” (2017)

When young Estrella (Paola Lara) joins a group of orphan children to survive in a hostile city after her mother’s strange disappearance, she begins to communicate with the spirits of men and women who’ve died violently at the hands of the evil men in power. Directed by Issa López, this dark fairytale explores the violence that’s swept Mexico over the last two decades. Masters of horror Guillermo del Toro and Stephen King are just two of the movie’s biggest fans. Available to stream on Pantaya.  

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“Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” (2014)

The found-footage horror franchise turned to the Latino community of Oxnard, California for its fifth installment with horrific results. When teenage best friends Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and Hector (Jorge Díaz) learn one of their neighbors was killed in her apartment, they (naturally!) decide to investigate. What they find inside her place is the stuff of nightmares: black magic paraphernalia, a collection of hair-raising VHS tapes, and, most disturbingly, a photo of Jesse. Available to rent or buy on Amazon.

“Culture Shock” (2019)

Part of Hulu’s “Into the Dark” anthology, this film by director and co-writer Gigi Saul Guerrero is not only scary-good, but an indictment of US hypocrisy on immigration. After crossing the border under mysterious circumstances, Marisol, a pregnant, undocumented woman, mysteriously finds herself in a hyper-American realm. But as she soon discovers, behind her dreamlike new reality, a chilling hell emerges. Mexican actress Martha Higareda stars. Available on Hulu.



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