‘The Exorcist: Believer’ and Hispanic Audiences: A Match Made in Horror Movie Heaven

The Exorcist: Believer ,Horror movies have long been a beloved genre in the film industry, captivating audiences with their spine-tingling tales and eerie atmospheres. Among the various subsets of horror, religious horror holds a unique appeal, and this fascination extends to Hispanic audiences. In this article, we will explore the intriguing relationship between Hispanic moviegoers and religious horror, with a special focus on the upcoming film “The Exorcist: Believer.”

Unveiling the Horror

  • Horror’s Hispanic Fanbase: It’s no secret that horror movies, especially those with religious undertones, have a special place in the hearts of Hispanic film enthusiasts. This affinity for the macabre is deeply ingrained in their culture.
  • Unique Appeal: What makes religious horror particularly enticing to Hispanic and Latino audiences? According to Rolando Rodriguez, the chairman of the National Association of Theatre Owners, it’s the emotions and the thrill factor that draws them in. In their eyes, it’s something culturally distinct.

‘The Exorcist: Believer’ – A Promising Revelation

  • A Classic Revisited: “The Exorcist: Believer” is a sequel to the iconic 1973 original, bringing back the chilling narrative of demonic possession. This time, the story unfolds in present-day Georgia, where two girls go missing for three days and return possessed, reigniting an ancient battle. Leslie Odom Jr. of “Hamilton” fame takes the lead in this eerie tale.
  • Theatrical Debut: The film is set to premiere in over 3,600 theaters, including IMAX and premium formats, promising a grand cinematic experience. Industry experts estimate an impressive opening weekend earning of up to $30 million.
  • A Risky Investment: While the film’s prospects seem promising, NBCUniversal has invested a hefty $400 million in this movie and its two planned sequels. Whether this gamble will pay off remains uncertain, especially with tough competition from other entertainment releases.

Facing the Horrors of Competition

  • Swift Competition: “The Exorcist: Believer” faces a formidable challenger in its second weekend – none other than Taylor Swift, who’s releasing a concert film version of her massively successful Eras Tour. This head-to-head battle will undoubtedly impact the film’s performance.
  • Saturated Market: The horror genre is currently experiencing a surge in popularity. With Halloween approaching, both major and independent studios are churning out scary flicks to meet the insatiable demand from thrill-seeking moviegoers.
  • Latino Influence: Hispanic and Latino viewers wield significant influence in determining the film’s box office success. They represent a staggering 26% of horror movie audiences, surpassing other genres. This dominance is highlighted in the Comscore/Screen Engine PostTrak Audience Survey.

The Roots of Hispanic Horror Love

  • Historical Connection: The affinity of Hispanic audiences for horror can be traced back to Hollywood’s early days. In 1931, Universal released a Spanish-language version of “Dracula,” which became a cult classic. Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, known for “Pan’s Labyrinth,” has a career filled with macabre tales.
  • Creepy Folklore: Beyond cinema, creepy folk tales featuring figures like El Cucuy and La Llorona have been passed down through generations, adding to the allure of horror in Hispanic culture.
  • Religion’s Role: Religion plays a pivotal role in fueling the interest in spooky narratives among the growing Hispanic population in the United States. With the majority of Latinos practicing Catholicism, films like “The Exorcist” resonate deeply due to their Catholic themes.

A Flirtation with Darkness

  • Religious Horror’s Attraction: “Religious horror is flirting with danger,” suggests Angel Melanson, an editor at Fangoria. These films explore taboo subjects and push boundaries, making them all the more captivating for viewers. The juxtaposition of familiar religious elements with horror elements adds a layer of forbidden intrigue.
  • A Cultural Blend: Hispanic culture blends traditional beliefs with modern Christianity, creating a unique context for the consumption of horror stories. These tales are not reserved for adulthood but are freely shared from a young age.

In conclusion, “The Exorcist: Believer” is poised to become a cinematic sensation, driven in part by the avid Hispanic and Latino horror fanbase. This film, like many before it, taps into the intersection of religion and terror, offering a thrilling experience for viewers of all backgrounds.


When is the release date of “The Exorcist: Believer”?

“The Exorcist: Believer” is set to open in theaters on Friday.

Who stars in “The Exorcist: Believer”?

Leslie Odom Jr., renowned for his role in “Hamilton,” takes the lead in this chilling sequel.

What is the significance of religious horror for Hispanic audiences?

Hispanic audiences are drawn to religious horror due to its emotional intensity and the unique blend of familiar religious themes with horror elements.

How influential are Hispanic viewers in the horror movie genre?

Hispanic and Latino audiences represent a substantial 26% of horror moviegoers, outstripping other genres.

Why does religious horror hold a special appeal for viewers?

Religious horror pushes boundaries and explores taboo subjects, making it alluring for those seeking an unconventional cinematic experience.

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