Pros: Mexican legend at the heart of the plot; Linda Cardellini Cons: many cliched situations typical of horror films “The Curse of La Llorona”
Directed by Michael Chavez
Starring: Linda Cardellini (Anna), Janey-Lynn Kinchen (Samantha), Roman Christou (Chris), Raymond Cruz (Rafael), Marisol Ramirez (La Llorona), Sean Patrick Thomas (Detective Cooper), Tony Amendola (Father Perez) and etc.
Компании New Line Cinema, Atomic Monster Productions, Warner Bros. Pictures
Year of release 2019
The Curse of La Llorona begins with backstory in 1673. Events take place in Mexico, where the life of a happy family turns into tragedy. The mother, for an unknown reason, kills her sons and, realizing what has happened, weeps bitterly over their lifeless bodies.
The main events of the film take place in Los Angeles in 1973. The main character Anna recently lost her husband, she is raising two children alone and holds the position of a social worker. Anna has been under the care of one dysfunctional family for several years, and during the next check she encounters the strange behavior of her charges – the mother locks her sons in the pantry to hide them from the spirit, whose name is La Llorona. Anna sees domestic violence in this episode, but realizes too late that evil spirits are involved. And now La Llorona appears in Anna’s house.
Finally, the script for a horror film was based on a story that has been played out less often in cinema than the Ouija board. La Llorona is a character from Mexican legends. She is the ghost of a mother who endlessly wanders the world and loudly mourns her departed children. According to folklore, her crying brings misfortune or death to people. It’s interesting that La Llorona’s parents used to scare their children so that they wouldn’t wander away from home. They were afraid that a crying woman, not finding her offspring, would kidnap other people’s children and mercilessly drown them in the river.
There is no need to scare the little heroes of the film “The Curse of La Llorona” with legends. They quickly realize what’s what when a woman in white appears in front of them, shedding black tears. Like all evil ghosts, La Llorona is extremely annoying, so you won’t be able to get rid of her on your own.
It’s not some exorcist who comes to the aid of Anna and her children, but a real shaman with a bag full of auxiliary trinkets. This character has a rather strange role in the film – in moments free from fear, he gives lines that should make the audience laugh. The shaman looks quite serious, and he is played by a not very enthusiastic Raymond Cruz, so the humor of this character rarely helps the situation.
As for the scary atmosphere of The Curse of La Llorona, it works well in the first half of the film (take the car and bathroom scenes for example). But the more time the ghost of a crying woman spends on the screen, the less fear it causes. At some point, the audience is shown La Llorona’s face, and the fear disappears.
Of course, in addition to La Llorona itself, the situation is aggravated by fluttering curtains, the rumble of footsteps on the floor above and a classic of the genre – a children’s rocking horse. In general, the script follows the templates of a horror film, so the film “The Curse of La Llorona” did not distinguish itself with anything new in the art of intimidation.
Since the events of the film take place in the 1970s, the setting and color correction of the image correspond to those years. The reason for choosing this time period was not a fashion statement, but one small reference to a character from another film – Father Perez from Annabelle appears in the frame. This has little effect on the essence of the plot; it only suggests that the film “The Curse of La Llorona” has become part of the horror series The Conjuring Universe.
The producer of the horror film about La Llorona, as well as other films from this universe (The Conjuring, The Curse of the Nun, etc.) was James Wan. Now he is much more often remembered as the director of “Aquaman” than as the creator of horror films about paranormal phenomena. And rightly so, with the franchise about numerous curses, everything has long been clear: the first films were interesting, and then everything began to boil down to monotonous plots.
The Curse of La Llorona was directed by Michael Chavez, who made his feature film debut. Not bad for a first work, but overall nothing that could be remembered a few days after viewing. Except for the acting performance of Linda Cardellini (“Green Book”), whose emotions look very convincing.
It’s unlikely that many viewers will go to the film just because it belongs to The Conjuring Universe. But if they want to dive into a standard horror film, The Curse of La Llorona is just right for them.