Entertainment

These 11 Terrifying Latino Horror Films Need To Be Added To Your October Watch List

If you’re a horror fan, and you haven’t seen these, then you know nothing about real fear. As a child, I would binge-watch every single horror movie I could find. They creeped the hell out of me, but I loved the adrenaline rush. Name any classic you want, I’ve seen them all; the more I watched, the less they scared me. Later, I discovered that most of these mainstream films relied on what is known as “boo horror,” which basically means that what scares the audience is thanks to good editing rather than the story.

And well, let me tell you that, just when I was starting to get bored of this particular type of horror: enter Latino cinema. The thing about Latin American horror movies is that they don’t rely on jump scares or outdated clichés. The reason why they’re scary is the plot and the themes they explore. So, if you’re ready to be really scared, I dare you to watch these 11 films.

Night Of The Living Dead

Did you know George Romero’s dad was Cuban? (I did, because like all Cubans, I keep a running list.) Well, he is! And so Romero is on this here list. Now, you’ve very likely already seen his opus, Night of the Living Dead, and know its contributions to the zombie genre, effectively changing the pop culture perception of zombies from corpses controlled by others through ritual means, to undead jerkwads lumbering slowly towards you while you take shelter in a shack or perhaps, later, in a shopping mall. But that doesn’t mean you can’t watch it again. And again and again.

Santa Sangre

No one does avant-garde psychedelic weirdness like Jodorowsky. Santa Sangre is no exception, following the story of Fenix, a former circus performer, and his relationship to his parents, particularly to the mother who keeps a literal and figurative hold on him through much of his development.

Roger Ebert praised Jodorowsky for expanding the horror genre by reminding viewers that “true psychic horror is possible on the screen–horror, poetry, surrealism, psychological pain and wicked humor, all at once.”

KM 31

This one is secretly about La Llorona. I have to admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending but the rest of the film was amazing. The production value was on par with a Hollywood horror film. This one is about the power of twins. One has an accident that leaves her in a coma. The conscious twin tries to figure out what happened to her sister and winds up in the tangles of a curse on the highway’s Kilometro 31.

Mas Negro Que La Noche

Hot girl inherits creepy old house and is forced to watch after a black cat. What can go wrong? They used to play this on Univision back in the day when they used to have old Mexican movie marathons on Sundays. This flick is filled with famous 70s & 80s Mexican telenovela stars: Lucia Mendez, Claudia Islas, Elena Rojo, and Susana Dosamantes (aka Paulina Rubio’s mom).

The Devil’s Backbone

I originally had four (4) del Toro movies on this list and had to narrow it down to two, which was like picking from among one’s children. (I assume picking a favorite child is equally difficult as picking a favorite movie, yes? I knew it.)

But here’s the thing: You’ve already seen The Devil’s Backbone. You already know the deal: Spanish Civil War, orphanage, defused bomb, mysterious ghost-boy. So I’ll use this space to share this link to the story of why del Toro often distances himself from a movie taken off the list: Mimic. Because there’s always a place for classic ghost stories, but never enough for giant mutant insects.

Cronos

Here’s our other del Toro entry: Cronos! Because who doesn’t love a good, inventive twist on a vampire story that also serves as a metaphor for society’s obsession with youth and virility? Cronos beat out Crimson Peak because, while the latter is truly a beautiful, visually stunning work, Cronos‘ story of love, loss and sacrifice simply holds up better throughout the film.

REC

Spain is at it again with this cinéma vérité (aka mock documentary aka found footage) style zombie flick. Scary as hell! Don’t let the crappy American version, Quarantine, fool you. This one will make you check behind the shower curtain when you pee.

Alucarda

Being a teen girl is hard enough, never mind being an orphan in a Catholic convent. Add demonic possession into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster / a truly fantastic horror movie with stunning visuals (just take a look at the nuns’ super stylized and highly evocative habits and robes, for instance). The film’s emphasis on a close emotional and physical relationship between two young girls has drawn comparisons to the classic vampire tale, Carmilla, made all the more apparent when you notice that “Alucarda” is simply “Dracula” with the letters rearranged.

Somos Lo Que Hay

The family that eats together, stays together, for better or for worse. In this film, which was remade for U.S. audiences in 2013, follows a family struggling with maintaining an ancient, bloody ritual and the impact it has both on their bodies and souls. You’ll never look at family dinners the same way again.

From Dusk Til Dawn

Vampires, as it turns out, can take on all sorts of day jobs, like dancing at the infamous “Titty Twister” strip club. Robert Rodriguez’s pulpy take on vampires takes place in a small town in Mexico and includes plenty of bikers, truck drivers, fugitives, and the site of an ancient Aztec temple.

Mama

Argentine director Andrés Muschietti based his feature film about a spooky-but-maternal ghosts, Mama, on his own 2008, Spanish-language short, Mamá. You can watch the whole thing here, but make sure to keep the lights on. Muschietti is definitely one to watch

Here Are 8 Latino Christmas Movies You Should Watch To Get Into The Festive Season

Entertainment

Here Are 8 Latino Christmas Movies You Should Watch To Get Into The Festive Season

Crown Media

This Christmas, when you’re getting comfy on the couch, ready to turn on the TV and watch a Holiday film, one thing is certain: we all know what the leads will look like. It’s safe to assume that the actors of most Christmas movies are white. 

Christmas and the whole holiday season is an important time of year for Latinos, traditionally and culturally, so it’s exciting to see Latinos on screen portraying our seasonal conflicts, rituals and family dynamics whenever the opportunity arises —which is not very often tbh.

When it comes to African American and Asian romantic leads in Hallmark holiday movies, the number is zero.

According to the numbers. By the end of 2017, Hallmark premiered a combined 86 new movies on two of its networks, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Only six of those movies had non-white romantic leads. That same year, Hallmark debuted three films with Catherine Bell (“Good Witch: Spellbound,” “Home for Christmas Day” and “Christmas in the Air”), who is half Iranian; one movie with Julie Gonzalo (“Falling for Vermont”), who’s from Argentina; and two movies with Alexa PenaVega (“Destination Wedding”), one of which also starred her husband Carlos PenaVega (“Enchanted Christmas”), both of whom are Hispanic.

While there obviously needs to be more seasonal films where Latinos take the lead, there are a number of films that Latinxs can watch to see themselves represented on screen. Keep scrolling to read all about them, here are some of our faves. 

Christmas Bounty

Starring Francia Raisa, this film is all about a bounty hunter-turned-elementary shool teacher who tries to keep her past a secret. Shenanigans follow as Raisa’s character reluctantly returns home for the holiday season. 

Nothing Like The Holidays

Credit: deswest_mac / Instagram

The dysfunctional Puerto Rican Rodriguez family reunite and fight for the first time in years in Alfredo De Villa’s Nothing Like the Holidays.  John Leguizamo, Freddy Rodriguez, Elizabeth Peña, Luis Guzmán, Jay Hernandez and Melonie Diaz appear as the Rodriguezs, gathering for Christmas in their family home in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. 

¡Feliz Christmas, Merry Navidad!

Spanish-language ¡Feliz Christmas, Merry Navidad! directed by Luis Palomo, stars Tere López-Tarín, Carlos Soriano, and Angelina Cruz. The family-friendly magical-realistic holiday film tells the tale of three children who overcome differences in the interest of friendship.  The inspiration Christmas movie exposes the true meaning of Christmas, and the value of interpersonal relationships and family.

El Camino Christmas

Credit: kambizshayanfard / Instagram

Starring Jessica Alba and Emilio Rivera —better known for his role on Sons of Anarchy—this comedy will make you LOL. The story of a man who’s in search for his father and then gets stuck in a liquor store on Christmas eve, has at least a little bit of diversity in it, so why not give it a go?

This Christmas 

Laz Alonso and Lupe Ontiveros star in the African American holiday comedy-drama This Christmas, a film about the Whitfield family. The estranged family gathers under the same roof for the first time in seven years, and the attempt to rekindle broken relationships.

A Very Harold And Kumar Christmas 

This is one of the most diverse Christmas movies out there. It includes a few Latinx stars in it —Danny Trejo and the Colombian-American actress Paula Garces. The movie is about Kumar and Harold’s holiday adventures and, let’s just say there’s lots of cannabis involved. 

Esta Navidad

The 1959 film is somewhat of a cult classic. Directed by Rene Cardoso, the Mexican film is about the Devil’s evil plan to kill Santa Claus. The surreal film is set in Santa’s cloud castle as well as in Mexico City. It’s not a traditional film, but definitely worth seeing. 

Holiday in Handcuffs

Mario Lopez and Melissa Joan Hart star in Holiday in Handcuffs, a holiday film about a miserable and lonely waitress and aspiring painter who kidnaps a customer from her job, so that she can introduce him to her family as her boyfriend. Mario Lopez plays the kidnapped fake boyfriend —and I mean, if I had the chance to kidnap Mario Lopez, you best believe I would.

The Past Decade Has Definitely Been A Reboot Era: Here Are The Decade’s Best—And Worst—Reboots

Entertainment

The Past Decade Has Definitely Been A Reboot Era: Here Are The Decade’s Best—And Worst—Reboots

Sony Pictures Releasing

With 2019 narrowly coming to an end, we’re getting ready to say goodbye to a decade. The 2010s have been a nostalgic ride. From the return of 80s “mom jeans” and Seinfeld-esque fashion trends to the revival of 90s music, fashion, beauty, and cinema. Whether we were discussing the return of crop tops, or boy bands, the decade looked back on the 90s with a vengeance —and Hollywood led the nostalgia train. 

Some of these reboots were hits, some were most definitely misses.

90s remakes and reboots dominated the box office in the past 10 years —and there are only more to come (e.g. Jumanji, Cats, Sonic, Mulan, Top Gun… the list goes on). So, as we bid the 2010s goodbye, join us in looking back at the best and worst remakes and reboots from the bast decade. 

Maleficent 2014 and 2019

Instagram @maleficentxcrystal

Although the Angelina Jolie-led fairytale about the “Sleeping Beauty” villain didn’t impress critics, who gave the film only a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences loved it. Reviewers praised the film’s visuals and special effects as well as its overall storyline.

Spider-Man far from home

Instagram @spidermanmovie

Not a 5 year period goes by without a studio picking up another Spider-Man remake project. And 90s children are happy to watch each and every one of them. On this occasion we went back to Peter Parker’s teenage years and even though it wasn’t the best remake of the spidey franchise, he went as far as to make an appearance alongside Thor, Iron Man and Black Panther in Avengers.

Aladdin

Instagram @disneyaladdin

I for one can confirm that the live-action remake was a masterful attempt at adapting the 90s children’s classic. From the diverse casting to the musical adaptations, special effects and Will Smith’s epic genie; 2019 Aladdin was a total hit. 

Jurassic World

Instagram @jurassicworld

The 2015 film, successfully rebooted the early 1990s franchise. The reboot of 1993’s Jurassic Park cemented Chris Pratt as a bonafide movie star —and there’s already a sequel in the works.

Beauty and The Beast

Instagram @beautyandthebeast

Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast pleased, even the most demanding fans. The remake, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens was a super faithful adaptation of the 1991 classic. This remake though, set a very high bar for all the Disney live action adaptations that followed. 

Power Rangers

Instagram @powerrangersmovie

The iconic TV superheroes of the 90s got their own reboot this decade, but the film received mixed reviews. Fans of the original series responded positively, but the film came second at the box office —only after another 90s staple, Beauty and the Beast.

Men In Black: International

Instagram @meninblack

The galaxy defenders made a comeback this decade, and despite Chris Hemsworth’s endless charisma, cameos from Emma Thompson and Bill Hader, Men In Black: International still wasn’t a huge success. 

Ghostbusters

twitter @eranuestro

The reboot of this 80s cult classic angered the male masses. Apparently, women who bust ghosts are somehow unacceptable. This film sparked outrage online and the trailer on youtube, as well as it’s IMDB page got record breaking negative reviews. Effectively redoing the original movie with the genders flipped smacked of political correctness and revisionist history. Or at least, that seemed to be the argument.

Terminator Genisys

Instagram @terminator.genisys.fan

The 80s and 90s reboot was a total flop. Despite Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the Terminator franchise, the film still tanked. 

Blair Witch

Instagram @blairwitchmovie

The Blair Witch Project was a 90s cult favorite. The reboot featured man of the same plot points and managed to recapture the magic of the 1999 classic. However, now that everyone knows that The Blair Witch Project was definitely not a documentary, the franchise lost its edge.

Independence day resurgence

Twitter @robzchildren

Not even Jeff Goldblum was able to save this Independence day —at least not without Will Smith, that is. 

Dumb and Dumber To

Instagram @jimcarey_

Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels reprised their roles as Dumb & Dumber, 20 years later! Unfortunately, the reboot failed to impress the public, and not even the most diehard super fans were on board. Only time will tell whether or not the film develops the same cult following as the original did. 

The Karate Kid

Instagram @thekaratekidmovie

Ok so first of all, the “Karate” kid learned Kung Fu in the 2010 version, not Karate as the title —and the original 1984 film— implies. 

The Mummy

Instagram @themummy

The original franchise was a thrilling, fun adventure film with lots of references to Indiana Jones. The 2017 remake, however, was a paint-by-numbers exercise designed only to set up a new shared universe. 

Teenage Ninja Turtles

Instagram @tmnt_2014

So for all of us who grew up in the 90s watching The Ninja Turtles, the show was all about martial arts and personal growth. All the 2014 remake focused on was exaggerated CGI —I mean those muscles, really? They’re turtles after all— and epic destruction scenes.