It’s tough finding good Latinx Horror Movie heroes or heroines of any kind. Most latinx characters in horror and or genre films are gangsters, criminals, or cannon fodder. And if they are heroes, they’re either blithering priests, or nuns. I’m still waiting for an every guy or every gal like Laurie Strode or Tommy Jarvis but of the Latinx or Hispanic persuasion. Thanks to the accessibility of modern filmmaking tools, we’re getting to see a much more diverse roster of horror heroes and heroines, but I hope we can see more, very soon; especially in light of “Hispanic Heritage Month” recently ending on the 15th.
In either case, here are five great Latinx horror heroes and heroines.
5. Karen Barclay – Child’s Play (2019)
Karen Barclay is wildly re-imagined for what is such a shockingly good remake of a horror classic. Barclay, as played by Puerto Rican actress Aubrey Plaza is very much the sane element of the family struggling to make ends meet and is faced with the horrific scenario with Chucky. By the end of “Child’s Play” she manages to prove herself, battling against the technological monster who stages an all out massacre. She’s a worthwhile heroine I hope we can see again.
4. Miguel Sanchez – Tremors (1990)
Miguel is an often overlooked and underrated hero in the “Tremors” canon. Miguel doesn’t just manage to survive with his friends, but he’s smart, clever, quick on his feet, and can stand toe to toe with Val and Earl any time. Miguel spends most of the time scheming with his allies trying to fight the Graboids and concocts the plot involving the ATV to distract the Graboids. He doesn’t really get to do anything flashy like Val, Burt, or Rhonda, but at the end of the day he manages to come to rescue multiple times and prevails.
3. Catherine Deane – Cell (2000)
Tarsem Singh’s science fiction horror movie has picked up some steam over the last five years elevating in to kind of a cult classic. I’ve always kind of enjoyed it, personally, and Jennifer Lopez manages to hold her own in a very seasoned cast. As Deane, Lopez is a child psychiatrist who has to use a virtual reality system called “Neurological Cartography and Synaptic Transfer System.” With it, she has to venture in to the psyche of serial killer Carl Stargher and Deane s a great heroine and protagonist who has to confront every element of Stargher’s mind, facing monsters and maniacs, and using her skills to prevail.
2. Ofelia – Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
The genius of “Pan’s Labyrinth” is that we’re never quite sure what’s unfolding before our eyes until the very end. While Guillermo Del Toro’s ode to “Alice in Wonderland” is brilliant, it also introduces us to the noble Ofelia. Ofelia is a young girl watching the horrors of war unfold before her very eyes, and she can do nothing but stand by. With her mysterious Faun guide, she spends most of her journey anxiously trying to save her mother, but in the end, makes the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the lingering innocence (from the grotesque Vidal) in her world. It’s a wrenching fate for such a heroic, compelling character.
1. El Wray – Planet Terror (2007)
Yes, I’ve included him on a few lists in the past, but that’s only because El Wray is fantastic, and I’m a big fan. In a movie that’s just—okay, Freddy Rodriguez manages to steal the show from a cast that includes Tom Savini, Michael Biehn, Rose McGowan, and Josh Brolin(!), respectively. El Wray is an enigmatic hero who set out to save his lover Cherry Darling from a zombie apocalypse, and he proves he can hold his own in any situation. I wish Rodriguez had gone further with comic books and maybe a spin off involving El Wray’s adventures. He could very well have been a Boriquén Snake Plissken.