“The Curse of La Llorona” is a horror film that manages to not completely come apart. It is considered as being part of the franchise known as The Conjuring Universe. We get a brief mention of the not so cuddly doll, Annabelle. Michael Chaves is a novice director who brought cinematic life to the script written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. The cast includes Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, and Sean Patrick Thomas.
The bulk of the film takes place in the year of my birth, 1973, however 300 years before that in Mexico, a woman drowns her children as vengeance against her husband who fell short on the fidelity part of his vows. Yeah, she was rather miffed.
Anyway, a caseworker for Child Protective Services in Los Angeles finds that her own children are in the crosshairs of the curse brought on by the weeping woman, or La Llorona. She is having to contend with another grieving mother who lost her two sons to this specter. She eventually gets help from some kind of renegade exorcist played by Raymond Cruz.
There quite a few effectively chilling moments that startled a stalwart movie viewer such as myself. The make-up was quite convincing on La Llorona, who was portrayed by none other than Marisol Ramirez. You may ask yourself “who is Marisol Ramirez?” And I don’t know other than she acted in this film, but she could be really scary so she earned her pay for this one.
This misses the mark quite wide on masterpiece of horror designation, however it doesn’t fall into the category of being a complete waste of time for fans of this genre. It doesn’t appear to have much acclaim from the professional reviewers, and it probably doesn’t deserve it, however I did find it reasonably enjoyable in an unsettling sort of way. It’s not fun watching children getting terrified, but the child actors in this film did a good job at being convincingly traumatized by the malevolent spirit.
The film does delve into a pretty interesting aspect of Mexican folklore and culture. I know it’s very much exaggerated and twisted in the expected manner of Hollywood output, but it was still interesting.
I would say it’s a decent enough scary distraction from the pressures of real life as long as expectations are kept somewhat low.