“The Curse of La Llorona” is not even worth $6 of your money. It follows a white woman navigating the well known Hispanic folklore of La Llorona and uses indigenous spiritual practices as a cliche while simultaneously having bad acting and mostly lame scares.
While the story in the movie didn’t change much from one version of the La Llorona folktale- a tale of a woman scorned who drowns her own children to get back at her cheating husband and is doomed to mourn her children for the rest of time and bring about misery to others that includes drowning other children- everything else in the movie is pretty standard for horror films of “The Conjuring” series.
There is even a cheap tie in to “The Conjuring” universe that you might miss if you blink. So just so you know, this movie is definitely tied in to “The Conjuring” no matter how insignificantly.
While there are some well executed scares and moments of genuine suspense, the choice to sometimes lift La Llorona’s veil halfway through the movie was a poor decision and ruined any anticipation or fear that the movie built. Surprisingly, the cheap Halloween looking yellow contacts and white face paint did not strike fear as much as a faceless entity appearing and wreaking havoc.
Since the typical jump scares were pretty much all the scares in the film, the wait time and build up before jump scares was weirdly paced and that time could’ve been much better used on literally any other aspect of the movie such as maybe, the plot and/or characters.
At times, it seemed like “The Curse of La Llorona” just had a mix of multiple conjuring universe movies into one. The church and religious aspect from almost every movie but especially “The Nun” is largely seen in the second half of “The Curse of La Llorona”. Sometimes La Llorona even looked similar to the nun originally shown in “The Conjuring” with the whitest of white face makeup to ever be seen on (even though according to the movie itself, the original events of La Llorona is based in Mexico and on a Mexican woman).
Using the iconic tale from Hispanic culture is still a good idea that no one has been able to successfully capture in modern horror genre so far. Bringing the same old “The Conjuring” cliches to it was poorly executed and the reason this movie won’t do well for most audiences.
Even using the realm of cultural folklore, “The Curse of La Llorona” has a way of not needing the main actress and her family to have any culture by telling instead the story of a social worker widow whose husband was Hispanic. The main character Anna Garcia and her kids do not speak Spanish, do not show any forms of cultural appreciation or practices and do not even know what saging is (Did the movie really have to simplify and explain the process of saging? In 2019?).
The unintended comedy of seeing Samantha (played by Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen) flying through the air out of nowhere and hearing main actress Linda Cardellini (playing Anna Garcia) attempt to say “La Llorona” were some of the more memorable scenes in the movie. Another is that the main actress got away with only having to say “La Llorona” once in the whole one hour and 33 minute runtime.
Rating: 3.5 out of 10
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