The Curse of La Llorona Brings The Folklore To Life
The Curse of La Llorona brings to the life the Mexican folklore of The Weeping Woman to life in a fun and terrifying way and is the latest in the Conjuring movie universe.
In 1970s Los Angeles, the legendary ghost La Llorona is stalking the night — and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother (Patrica Velasquez), a social worker (Linda Cardellini) and her own kids are drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope of surviving La Llorona’s deadly wrath is a disillusioned priest (Raymond Cruz) who practices mysticism to keep evil at bay.
Michael Chaves makes his feature film directorial debut with The Curse of La Llorona, and easily makes his mark in the ever-expanding Conjuring franchise. Using blacks, neutrals, and shadows help the film keep its ominous and eerie tone of mourning and fright. The film spends a good amount of time letting the audience get to know the Tate-Garcia family, which helps in keeping us invested in what lies ahead. Cardellini does a brilliant job in her role as Anna, playing a widow who is doing her best to raise her kids after the loss of her husband. Cardellini’s protective mama bear role does a lot to generate sympathy from the audience making her that more relatable. Raymond Cruz is a lot of fun to watch as the curandero who helps out the family in their terrifying battle. His knowledge of La Llorona provides a much-needed explanation to the story and is also matched by his sense of humor.
But now you might be wondering, “How does this film connect to The Conjuring universe?” Remember Father Perez (Tony Amendola) from the first Annabelle movie? This film does just enough to make the connection clear, flashing Annabelle on the screen as Perez talks to Cardellini about a case involving an evil doll. Perez is used as the connection and helps push Anna towards someone who could better help her with her situation. The Annabelle connection also helps explain why the film is set on 1973 Los Angeles instead of somewhere south of the border.
La Llorona herself is effectively creepy. However there should have been more focus on her, and despite a brief backstory, in the beginning, there isn’t really a lot of depth to the character or her background. Some of the more interesting characters – Patricia, curandero Rafael, and La Llorona herself – are kept a little bit on the sidelines in order to focus more on the family under attack by the supernatural. As a huge fan of Linda Cardellini, I didn’t really mind the focus being on her and her family.
Overall, The Curse of La Llorona does a great job at being an intriguing and spooky tale. With a slightly different vibe, it still fills as if it belongs in the Conjuring universe.
Critic rating: 4/5 stars
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