The Curse of La Llorona – USA, 2018: updated with first reviews

‘She wants your children’

The Curse of La Llorona is a 2018 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Michael Chaves (The Maiden short) from a screenplay by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis (Sleep Tight). It is co-produced by James Wan (The NunThe Conjuring; InsidiousSaw; et al), Gary Dauberman and Emile Gladstone.

The title refers to La Llorona, the “Crying Woman” from Mexican folklore.

The Atomic Monster/New Line Cinema production stars Linda Cardellini, Patricia Velasquez, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Roman Christou, and Sean Patrick Thomas.

“La Llorona. The Weeping Woman. A horrifying apparition, caught between Heaven and Hell, trapped in a terrible fate sealed by her own hand. The mere mention of her name has struck terror around the world for generations.

In life, she drowned her children in a jealous rage, throwing herself in the churning river after them as she wept in pain. Now her tears are eternal. They are lethal, and those who hear her death call in the night are doomed. La Llorona creeps in the shadows and preys on the children, desperate to replace her own. As the centuries have passed, her desire has grown more voracious…and her methods more terrifying.

In 1970s Los Angeles, La Llorona is stalking the night—and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope to survive La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices to keep evil at bay, on the fringes where fear and faith collide.

Beware of her chilling wail… she will stop at nothing to lure you into the gloom. Because there is no peace for her anguish. There is no mercy for her soul. And there is no escape from the curse of La Llorona.”

Release:

The Curse of La Llorona is released by Warner Bros. Pictures on April 19, 2019.

Reviews:

The Curse of La Llorona excels at being an intimate, spooky haunted house tale. With a slightly different aesthetic, it still feels right at home in the Conjuring universe. For those completely unfamiliar with La Llorona, Chaves delivers a basic crash course that gives a tease of just how scary the tales of her have been over generations.” Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting

“it hits more than a few familiar beats for those of us who eat, sleep, and breathe horror. But there is a moment when screenwriters Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis push their narrative into a very surprising direction […] I also must tip my hat to cinematographer Michael Burgess, whose camerawork is absolutely incredible…” Heather Wixson, Daily Dead

” …the ghost — a yellow-eyed creep weeping icky black tears and wearing a wedding dress — does start haunting Sam and Chris, moving through their nighttime environs in a series of cheap jump-scares. The pic relies so heavily on these “boo!” moments that, midway through, the viewer protected by shamanistic magic stopped even experiencing a reflexive twitch when they occurred.” John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

“In everything it does, The Curse of La Llorona is predictable as hell, every gag is telegraphed well in advance, and if you think the ghost is gonna do a thing, you can bet your ass she’s gonna do that thing, and exactly when you think she will. It is lazy filmmaking, it is disrespectful of the culture […] and it’s an unnecessarily wasted opportunity to bring a real new flavor to the screen.” J Hurtado, Screen Anarchy

” …everything’s just so half-baked and lazy here, the direction and especially the storytelling. It seems as if The Curse of La Llorona was broken from its very inception, because instead of starting with “Wouldn’t it be cool if we told a story about La Llorona,” the producers asked, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we sneaked another movie into the Conjuring universe?” La Llorona herself feels like an afterthought. No wonder she’s weeping.” Meredith Borders, /Film

“First-time feature director Michael Chaves is a great deal short of subtle while, as regularly as clockwork, he utilizes La Llorona […] to provide the jarring pay-off for slow-build scenes featuring sudden gusts of wind, slamming doors and windows, and portentous shots of dripping faucets, unwinding car-window handles, and a backyard swimming pool that appears roughly the size of Rhode Island.” Joe Leydon, Variety

Cast and characters:

  • Linda Cardellini … Anna Garcia – Scooby Doo‘s Velma
  • Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen … Samantha
  • Patricia Velasquez – The Mummy Returns; The Mummy
  • Sean Patrick Thomas – Deep in the DarknessThe Burrowers; Halloween: Resurrection; Dracula 2000
  • Raymond Cruz – From Dust Till Dawn 2; Alien: ResurrectionGremlins 2Twice Dead
  • John Marshall Jones … Hankins – Bones TV series; Dexter TV series
  • Madeleine McGraw … April
  • Sierra Heuermann … Sam
  • Sophia Santi … Bocanegra / Female customer
  • Marisol Ramirez
  • DeLaRosa Rivera … David Garcia
  • Roman Christou … Chris
  • Oliver Alexander… Carlos

Production:

Principal photography wrapped in November 2017.

Trivia:

The movie was formerly known as The Children.

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The Curse of the Crying Woman – Mexico, 1961

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