**Contains spoilers of Insidious 2 and The Grudge 3 and a little of Devil and PA2**
I have really grown to love horror movies over the past few years mostly because I want to see what will scare me and I like the thrill of watching one that is really good (those rare times that I do come across a good one). I was watching Insidious Chapter 2 and at the end Elyse and the other guys go to a Latino family's home. Elyse tries to talk to Allison, their daughter who's in a comatose state, and then a shadow appears (I realize now it is probably supposed to be the demon from the first movie). I posted earlier how I was excited to see that there was a possibility of the 3rd installment having Latino characters as the protagonists because in most movies we aren't even the main characters, but it's particularly exciting in this genre since Latino characters do not really exist and it seems lately we are a superstitious/religious trope for the movie.
I'm mostly going to talk about Latinos because that is what I've been seeing lately. This article has a good summary of what's been going on in horror movies with minor Latino characters lately: http://www.beinglatino.us/uncategorized/… I'd also like to provide you with this link about the Magical Black Man trope used in movies. It also talks about other tropes using POC as well as sexist tropes used.
I recently watched the movie Devil (which is on Netflix by the way) and the character of Ramirez is a hardcore Catholic and just KNOWS that the devil is in the building. He starts praying to God in Spanish and everything. Everyone brushes him off and thinks he's a religious weirdo and it's not until shit starts to go down that people believe him.
In Paranormal Activity 2, Martine is the family's nanny and maid and she is trying to cleanse the house of evil spirits. When Dan sees her burning sage he fires her. Of course they have a maid. Of course they fire her for doing such a thing. Of course shit gets worse after that. I mean really, she could have hooked them up with a witch or something.
I also watched The Grudge 3 (awful movie) and Naoko is the sister of Kayako who is killing everybody in the damn building. The only way to stop the curse is for Lisa and Rose to help Naoko in her exorcism of the evil spirits. Eventually Lisa agrees and brings Rose but Lisa is wary (as any sister would be) to let Rose drink Kayako's blood. And this gets Naoko and the brother of Lisa and Rose, Max, killed. Most of the people in the movie are dead. There you go.
The article I linked also mentioned the movie Drag Me To Hell, which I have not seen, but includes the most problematic situation: a WOC risking her life for $10,000 to save the protagonist and ends up dying. So that's 2 POC dying to save the protagonist(s). I don't need to tell you the major side eye I am giving right now.
Oh and a new trailer for Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is out and that contains clues of Black Magic and a look into a different kind of community (you know, one that's brown and low-income). In the other PA movies it was obvious they were well-off White folks and we didn't need to explore their lives outside the house. Seems like this will not be the case for this movie, as we have to have an in-depth look at a community that is usually not featured in movies unless it is about drug trafficking or gang violence, or both.
Basically if the White people in the movies would just listen to the POC in a lot of cases, things would be alright, or it would at least prevent a lot of deaths. I am not sure if this is supposed to be making the protagonists look silly or not, but the POC that tries to help the protagonist looks crazy or superstitious and is othered by the White protagonist. Being othered in any way even if the protagonist was wrong and the POC is right, is problematic no matter what. We really need to start having plots in movies where a POC is not othered and minimized, but this is even more needed in things like horror movies where the protagonist is fighting evil.
I am really hoping that Insidious 3 has the family from the end of Insidious 2. I'd like to see strong characters of color hold their own in this genre because it's so rare to see them come out at the end. According to Nielsen, we are the highest movie-goers for the genre. So where are we in the casting?
Feel free to bring up other horror movies where this occurs. Thanks for reading.