According to this video, created by the American Entertainment Marketing (AEM), Latinos are scaredy cats. But we like to think of ourselves as self-preservationists.
“The minute we hear some crazy ass shit we are out the door,” says the girl in the video. She pokes fun at the fact that Latinos are not casted for horror movie roles. Despite her stereotypes regarding our decible level --“How am I supposed to believe there’s a Latino in a silent house? Latinos don’t know how to be silent! Hell no!” -- she may have a point about Latino actors in horror films.
While there are a few exceptions, John Leguizamo played a role in the 2005 horror film “Land of the Dead” and the Puerto Rican-American actor Franky G played a part in the thriller “Saw 3” to name a few-- the list is short. Latinos actors are not readily seen in American horror movies.
But that doesn't mean Latinos don't like the genre.
In fact, the video is a promotion for the movie “Silent House” based on the original 2010 Uruguayan film titled “La Casa Muda” by film director Gustavo Hernandez. The new version will be released on March 9th 2012. The original movie was inspired by real events that took place in Uruguay in the 1940s. It was featured at Cannes Film Festival and at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The new remake is directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau starring Elizabeth Olsen as the main character.
It's not only Latino directors who enjoy the genre, though. There is a big Latino fan-base for horror films. According to an LA Times blog, 54 percent of attendees to the 2010 horror film “Last Exorcism” were Latinos. The film did very well in the Southwest and on the West Coast, particularly in Los Angeles a big hub for Latinos in the U.S.
According to Nielsen, a leading global information and measurement website, Hispanics command the highest share of audience in the horror/thriller and romantic comedy genres. Almost half of Latinos age 12 to 34 watch 11 or more movies a year (compared to 7 for whites and 8 for African-Americans).
Latinos like horror and not only in the big screen. The interest in the eerie can be traced back to folks tales and urban myths that have passed from generation forward.
There’s the story of “La Pata Sola” (“The One-Legged Woman”) which revolves around a seductive woman who lives deep within the jungle. She lures men in with her beauty and charms. Once under her spell as they follow her into the dark side of the jungle, she will reveal her true self-- the hideous appearance as a one-legged savage woman.
Or there’s the story of “La Llorona” (“The Weeping Woman”) who is said to have drowned her children to be able to be with the man she loved. When the man rejected her, she went on to kill herself. But she is not permitted to enter heaven until she finds her children. The woman is forced to wander the Earth for all eternity searching for her children -- weeping all the while.
Between the children stories of the sobbing she-ghost and the seductress with a prosthetic limb, we wonder how little Latino children get to sleep at night.
What scary stories did you grow up with? Leave them in the comment section below.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that this video had been created by the bilingual television network mun2.