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‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Is More of the Same, Without the Energy

A social worker discovers a case of child abuse and neglect by a longterm client. After removing the children, she will realize the case may not be the mothers doing, but rather the work of a ghostly Weeping Woman known as La Llorona. The Curse of La Llorona is the sixth film in the hugely popular Conjuring franchise. While the other films have continued to entertain, this newest entry lacks depth and energy, instead just repackaging things we’ve already seen.

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Anna (Linda Cardellini) is raising her two children alone after recently losing her husband. She works in Family Services and has been assigned to single mother Patricia (Patricia Velásquez) for the last four years. When Patricia begins acting erratic, and sadly seems to be abusing her boys, Anna steps in for their safety. However, Patricia claims she’s trying to protect her children from La Llorona, a ghost who drowns children.

While Anna doesn’t believe this ghost story at first, she will uncover her own children have found themselves haunted by La Llorona cries. Leaving Anna to seek help from whomever she can to put an end to the curse and save her family.

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I have a lot to unpack about this film. While I’ve been a massive fan of director James Wan’s work with The Conjuring films, as well as the subsequent movies within the shared universe, like Annabelle, this film completely lacks everything the franchise carries, aside from its look.

Yes, the film fits nicely into the universe with its subtle blue hue and ghostly jump scares, but what could have been a terrifying exploration into this Latin American ghost story, is instead a generic haunted house-esque film delivering the same set ups and culminating in the same way. Sure the scares may get you, but La Llorona is an uninspired film that doesn’t give you anything you haven’t seen already in films like Insidious or the second Ouija film.

Additionally this film does the bare minimum to connect itself to the shared universe. The only tie is Anna initially speaking with Father Perez (Tony Amendola), who you’ll recognize from Annabelle. However, his screen time is short and the film continues with its rehashing of old scares and obvious dialog.

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I can best describe this film as “okay”. It would probably be an effective horror film if you’re not familiar with previous works of Wan or even Blumhouse’s extensive catalog. It was simply too generic. It was interesting to hear that the script was written without La Llorona being in it, because it’s so painfully obvious. Her story is a glossed over recap lacking the real depth of the folklore. She was reduced to the rejected second cousin of The Conjuring family.

Although, I’ll leave it on a happier note. While I felt the script was lacking, director Michael Chaves did a good job of working with it and I won’t fault him for my negative reception. I am looking forward to his next film, which is The Conjuring 3, scheduled for a 2020 release. Sadly though, this one is far from a must-see.

The Curse of La Llorona hits theaters April 19th

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