¡QUÉ HORROR! Latinos a Perfect Audience for Horror Films

By Maricela Cueva
VP, VPE Public Relations

Given the extraordinary respect for the macabre, coupled with a slow economy and severally impacted entertainment budgets, going to a movie theater to see a scary film is still one entertainment option that most Latinos can thoroughly enjoy.

Latinos love to be entertained and if it means entertainment with a scream or two that just simply adds to the entertainment value. That’s why it came as no surprise that Latinos flocked to the movie theaters around the country to watch the “Last Exorcism” despite the less than glowing entertainment editors’ reviews.

According to the Los Angeles Times, exit polling showed an unusually high percentage (54%) of “Last Exorcism” attendees were Latino. As a result, the film did particularly well in the Southwest and on the West Coast, particularly in Los Angeles, its best-performing city.

Most Latino children grew up listening to cuentos with particularly scary themes meant to teach us a lesson. I still remember the famous La Llorona, who mourned her children who drowned in the river, and El Cucuy, who kidnapped children who disobeyed their parents. My parents used these imaginary spirits as a last resort whenever we wouldn’t come inside after playing outdoors with our friends. It’s possible that listening to these stories as children later created an appreciation of a good scary story. Now partner our love of a good scary story and our need to be entertained, and you have the perfect audience for horror films.

According to Nielsen, the genres that attract the greatest interest from Latino moviegoers are Family, Horror/Thriller, Romantic Comedy and Action Adventure. Our love for Action Adventure and Family movies have helped to make them the highest-grossing genres in the U.S. market. Overall, Latinos have the highest audience share in the Horror/Thriller and Romantic Comedy genres.

The upcoming Robert Rodriguez action adventure movie, “Machete” may prove to be a winner among Latino audiences and the mostly Latino cast is an added plus. After watching the movie trailer, my 75 year old mom asked me when I would be taking her to see it. “Esa si va a estar buena,” she said with a sparkle of excitement in her eyes. Some upcoming horror movies received my mom’s approval including Devil, the name alone will draw a crowd. Another contender is Case 39, whose scary trailer caused a few gasps of fear in the movie theater.

Ok, I admit it, I will probably be first in line to watch these horror films. But one thing is certain, I will not be the only Latina in the movie theatre.

VPE Public Relations staff favorites:

@MaricelaC -The Exorcist, The Sixth Sense, The Shinning
@FreddyLee -The Strangers, The Village
@MissJewels212 – Saw
@E_S123 – Nightmare on Elm Street
@MarisolNajarro – I Know What You Did Last Summer
@2Latina – The Exorcist and Night of the Living Dead
@Lourdes_Rod – Night of the Living Dead (black and white version)

Which horror film will you be seeing soon?