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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

The Curse of La Llorona - A Mixed Echo of Fear and Folklore

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5 stars)

Released 04-19-2019

Watched 09-16-2023

Reviewed 09-18-2023

Available to Rent or Buy

"Children are told to behave, listen to their elders, or La Llorona will come and steal them away."

"The Curse of La Llorona" brings to screen a rich tapestry of Mexican folklore, trying to tap into the chilling legend of a weeping woman who haunts the living. Set in the atmospheric backdrop of 1970s Los Angeles, the film aims to be both a cultural exposition and a spine-tingling supernatural thriller.

In terms of performances, the cast does a commendable job with Linda Cardellini leading the narrative as the distressed social worker. The re-introduction of Tony Amendola as Father Perez provides an interesting link to the Annabelle story, and while director Chaves insists on its independence from The Conjuring Universe, there are undeniable nods to the franchise. This interconnection could be a delight for fans, but for some, it might feel like a forced attempt to ride on the popularity of its more successful counterpart.

The film excels in creating an eerie ambiance with its dim-lit scenes, unsettling silences, and haunting cries. However, where it falls short is in its plot progression. The narrative tends to rely heavily on jump scares, some of which are predictable, instead of delving deeper into the psychological dread that the legend of La Llorona can induce.

While we approached this film with the lens of catching up on The Conjuring Universe, it's essential to evaluate it as a standalone entity. It’s an earnest effort with glimpses of brilliance, but it doesn't entirely capitalize on the rich folklore it's rooted in. If you're a fan of the universe or just looking for some jump scares on a weekend night, it might be worth the watch. However, if you're seeking an in-depth and atmospheric horror that pays full homage to the legend of La Llorona, you might be left wanting more.

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