[Review] The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
The Curse of La Llorona – In 1970s Los Angeles, the legendary ghost La Llorona is stalking the night — and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother who is suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small children are drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope of surviving La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest who practices mysticism to keep evil at bay on the fringes where fear and faith collide.
The “Curse of La Llorona” is loosely based on the Mexican folklore of La Llorona, (“The Weeping Woman” in Spanish) in 1673. The legend is believed to have been based in a small rural village where a young woman named Maria lived. Although Maria was from a very poor family, she was well known in her village for her beauty and kindness. One day, an extremely wealthy nobleman traveled into her village and instantly fell in love with Maria.
Maria was charmed by the nobleman and he, in turn, was taken by her beauty, so when he proposed to her, she immediately accepted. Maria’s family was thrilled that she was marrying into a wealthy family, however, the nobleman’s father was very unhappy when he heard the news that his son was marrying into poverty.
After they were married, Maria and her new husband built their house away from the village and from his disapproving father. Maria gave birth to a son, and soon after a daughter. Her husband loved his family but had to always travel, and soon began spending less time with his family. One day he returned to the village with a younger woman, and bid his children farewell. Maria, angry and hurt, took her children to the river and drowned them in a blind rage. Realizing what she had done, she began searching for them, but the river had already carried them away. Days later, she was found dead on the riverbank and is said to have committed two ultimate sins: Murder and Suicide.
The Curse of La Llorona starts out in 1673 Mexico, where a family is shown playing in a field, by a rapidly flowing river. The youngest son reaches up to give his mother a necklace that he made for her and then lays back and closes his eyes for a moment. When he finally opens his eyes he discovers that his family is gone and runs around calling and looking for them. The boy finally sees his mother in the middle of the rolling stream holding down his small brother under the water.
Scared out of his mind the boy begins to run away but it’s not soon after that his mother catches up to him and drags him back toward the water where she proceeds to drown him too. The film flashes 300 years later to 1973 Los Angeles, where Hispanic caseworker, Anna Garcia (Linda Cardellini) is sent to investigate the disappearance of 2 young children belonging to her client, Patricia Alvarez (Patricia Velasquez). Anna unknowingly interrupts an exorcism of Patricia which was being done to protect her own children.
Anna is then called to investigate the deaths of Patricia’s two boys, Chris and Sam, who were both found drowned in a river. Anna for some odd reason brings her own two children, Chris and Sam, along with her to the crime scene. She tells them to remain in the car while she investigates the murders. She suddenly hears Patricia, who is now accused of her sons’ murders, screaming out that it was all Anna’s fault for taking her sons, and that Patricia had only been trying to stop the malevolent force of the woman in white, “La Llorona”.
At that moment Patricia turns against Anna and curses her so that La Llorona would take Anna’s children for revenge. The remaining parts in the film are about Anna trying to desperately protect her two small children from the grasp of this horrific and very sad entity, and how far she’s willing to go to do just that.
Overall I liked The Curse of La Llorona and thought it was entertaining enough. I love urban legends and folklore from all cultures, and I follow enough of them to realize long ago that they will differ slightly from every person that tells of them, so I was prepared for that going in. I was however surprised to find that they linked The Curse of La Llorona into that of The Conjuring franchise, how that came about I have no idea, and they are not really related stories are not related at all. The only thing that you could say linked them together was the fact that the same Priest from Annabelle (and with a brief flashback of Annabelle, the doll itself) made a very tiny appearance in this film. So is it safe to say now that any future movie that Tony Amendola plays in will be connected to The Conjuring franchise?
Most of the scares in The Curse of La Llorona were basically cliché, it had a lot of jump-scares, and the majority of them were all, for the most part, a bit predictable. However, I still found The Curse of La Llorona to be creepy overall, and I have to admit that there were several authentic scare scenes thrown in that had my heart beating faster than what is normal, like the bathtub and car scenes. The special effects and CGI were all actually really good as well, and I also enjoyed the acting, even if half the time most of the characters were making some stupid choices.
I think the main part that had me the most disappointed in The Curse of La Llorona was when the new director, Michael Chaves, decided to unveil the entity in the opening sequence while in her full form, leaving nothing much to the imagination throughout the rest of the film. That kinda sucked in my opinion. Still, The Curse of La Llorona was not bad, it does play on your mind, has more than enough jump-scares, rarely boring and filled with somewhat of a back-history about the legend itself.
Character development was not bad and the actors all played their parts in a well enough manner, I’m just not so sure about that ‘Rated R’ part. Where did that come from anyway? I’d say PG-13 at best. Unless the child abuse factored a big part in it. Still, it’s worth a good watch, or just save your money and stream it…either way, I think you’ll be pleased enough.
Title: The Curse of La Llorona
Release Date: April 19, 2019
Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Studio: New Line Cinema
Starring: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez
MPAA Rated: R
Director(s): Michael Chaves
Reviewed by: Grim Magazine
Our Rating: 3.0 /5
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