Joanna’s Spooky Guide: 13 Great Horror Movies in Spanish
Happy Hispanic Heritage month to all my fellow Hispanics! To celebrate Hispanic heritage month many like to visit museums and exhibits and really just showcase how proud they are. Because I like spooky things, and because Hispanic heritage month lands around spooky season, I like to watch horror films in Spanish.
When I say "in Spanish" I don't just mean watching The Exorcist with the audio in Spanish (although, that is a trip, if you haven't done that you totally should.) I mean I like to watch films that are native to Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Horror films in Spanish hit you a little differently, they somehow don't play by the same rules that American horror films play by.
If you're Hispanic and love horror films like I do, you're not alone. According to Edwin Pagan who runs latinhorror.com, we've always been drawn to horror stories. We grew up hearing about "El Cucuy," "La Llorona" and "El Chupacabra." Pagan says it's this intimacy with the supernatural that makes the Latin psyche ripe for horror thrills. It's not hard for us to be attracted to horror stories.
We also have some of the greats to look up to when it comes to horror films; George A Romero, Robert Rodriguez and, of course, Guillermo Del Toro. But there are lots of other great Latino directors, writers and producers. If you don't know where to start, don't worry, I got you covered! To celebrate Hispanic heritage month and Halloween, here are 13 great horror movies in Spanish you should check out (if you haven't already)! Don't speak Spanish? Just throw the subtitles on!
Co-written & directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, the film centers on a reporter and her cameraman covering a firefighter intervention in an apartment building in Barcelona. It was remade in 2008 in the United States and renamed "Quarantine."
Written and directed by Carlos Enrique Taboada and is considered a cult movie in México, set in a private all-girls boarding school, the film focuses primarily on a young student whose vivid nightmares lead to the discovery of a malevolent female spirit that’s roaming the institution’s halls. Fun fact, my grandmother, who initially introduced me to horror films, loved this movie. It was remade in 2007 with the same name. I like to this of this one as a Mexican "Suspiria."
Tells the story of an eccentric old woman who dies and leaves her opulent mansion to her niece, Ofelia. Her one rule to get the mansion is to take care of her cat, Becker. It was remade in 2014 and is the first Mexican 3D horror film.
The plot centers on a woman named Laura, who returns to her childhood home, an orphanage. Laura plans to turn the house into a home for disabled children, but after an argument, her adopted son Simon goes missing.
Cronos is Guillermo del Toro's first feature film, it centers around antique dealer Jesús Gris, who finds a mysterious device designed over 400 years ago and provides its owner with eternal life but leaves a path of destruction behind.
Another Guillermo del Toro gothic horror focuses on Carlos - a 12-year-old whose father has died in the Spanish Civil War - arrives at an ominous boys' orphanage, he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets which he must uncover.
A married couple lose their children while on a family trip near some caves in Tijuana. The kids eventually reappear without explanation, but it becomes clear that they are not who they used to be, that something terrifying has changed them.
The movie is about a family who, after the death of the father, try to continue on with a disturbing, ritualistic tradition- cannibalism. It was remade in the United States in 2013 with the same name.
A couple with a newborn arrive at their new home. An ideal place to start life as a family. Before going to bed, the couple go and check the baby monitor that not only does it allow you to listen in while the baby is sleeping, it lets you watch the baby as well. They will soon discover that there is someone else living in this house, someone whose presence can be felt every night, right beside their baby's cradle.
A husband murders his wife, and years later her ghost emerges from a witch's mirror to take her revenge.
A girl becomes trapped inside a house and becomes unable to contact the outside world as supernatural forces haunt it. It was remade in 2012 and stars Elizabeth Olsen.
A teen girl finds herself besieged by an evil supernatural force after she played Ouija with two classmates. When it was released on Netflix it was called the "scariest horror film ever" and was scaring people so much they were stopping it halfway.
A dark fairy tale about a gang of five children trying to survive the horrific violence of the cartels and the ghosts created every day by the drug war. The film is getting great reviews so far and even Stephen King is a fan.