Video: The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

Review Transcript:

Jumpscares- the movie- is directed by Michael Chaves and follows every horror tactic you’ve ever seen without offering anything to the genre.

Anna Garcia played by Linda Cardellini is a social worker in 1970s Los Angeles, who quickly learns that La Llorona is haunting her kids shortly after this spooky weeping widow murders two other children that were tied to a case Anna was working on. The movie is spent primarily in Anna’s home with the kids and Raymond Cruz who plays an ex-priest named Rafael attempting to rid the connection La Llorona has with the family.

For his first feature film, Michael Chavez knows how to execute horror sequences. The timing, music, and jumpscares mostly work. There’s a few laugh-out-loud moments that I’m not sure if they were intended, but nonetheless these eerie scenes were done in a way that I found to be interestingly entertaining but fairly standard.

The story is almost non-existent after the setup because once we know who this evil widow is, we go into the jumpscare sequences. And if you like that, you will probably have a fun time with this movie. However if you’re looking for a compelling story with fleshed out characters, The Curse of La Llorona is not that film.

I hate to be too harsh because I can tell some effort was put into giving Cardellini’s character some depth. We learn early on that the husband is not around and I would’ve wanted the film to explore that and Anna’s past more intricately. There’s also some interesting characteristics about Raymond who we learn has given up on the church but still has faith in God. Very interesting ideas that could’ve made me care about these characters more but instead, don’t go further than what I just described.

Despite this film taking place in The Conjuring Universe, you don’t have to be familiar with the Conjuring universe to understand it. That connection could’ve been excluded entirely and it seems it was added at the last moment in order to get Conjuring fans to buy tickets.

There’s lots of moments where you’ll wonder WHY IS THIS CHARACTER CHOOSING TO DO THIS OR DO THAT?! For example, when La Llorona first makes contact with Anna’s kids, they get burned on their wrists and I thought WHY DO THE KIDS NOT TELL THEIR MOM? She even asks what’s wrong and her son tells her NOTHING I WAS JUST IMAGINING THINGS. When the mom notices the burns, I felt like she should have pressed further with how these kids got these burns. There’s a scene where they have all successfully trapped La Llorona outside but the daughter decides to go outside for a worthless doll. If I know my life is at risk, the last thing I’m going to care about is a doll and I would be concerned with being as far away from this evil entity as possible.

I did like that this movie was quick-paced and the 1 hour and 33 minute length does go by quick. If you’re really in the mood for a horror film at the theatre, I think this was more entertaining than Pet Sematary but not as creative or good as Us.

The main curse of La Llorona is that it doesn’t offer anything to to the horror genre, relying on jumpscares to carry a paperthin plot intertwined with Latin folklore.

Final Verdict:The main curse of La Llorona is that it doesn’t offer anything new to to the horror genre, relying on jumpscares to carry a paperthin plot intertwined with Latin folklore.
Rating:C+