The Curse of La Llorona (aKa The Curse of the Weeping Woman) is a 2019 horror film directed by Michael Chaves (The Conjuring 3 & Chase Champion). It was originally called The Children. It was written by Mikki Daughtry (Five Feet Apart) & Tobias Iaconis (Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia & Five Feet Apart). It was produced by James Wan (Saw franchise, Annabelle franchise, The Conjuring franchise, & Insidious franchise), Richard Brener (Final Destination franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street, IT, The Nun, & Shazam!), & Walter Hamada (Aquaman, Joker, Friday the 13th, & 47 Ronin). Father Perez from Annabelle shows up here, connecting the film to The Conjuring Universe. This is now considered the sixth installment in the franchise. The budget was $9 million & it grossed $123.1 million worldwide!!!!
In 1673 Mexico, a family plays in a field & the youngest son gives his mother a necklace. The boy closes his eyes briefly & when he opens them, his family is missing. The boy finds his mother drowning his brother in a stream. Horrified, he runs away but his mother catches him & seemingly drowns him too. 300 years later in 1973 Los Angeles, Hispanic caseworker Anna Tate-Garcia (played by: Linda Cardellini from the Scooby Doo franchise, E.R., Avengers: Endgame, & Freaks and Geeks) investigates the disappearance of client Patricia Alvarez’s (played by: Patricia Velasquez from The Mummy franchise, Arrested Development, Mindhunters, & American Family) two children. Anna arrives at Patricia’s house for a welfare check & she finds the children locked behind a door inside. Patricia attacks her & arrested by the police. Detective Cooper (played by: Sean Patrick Thomas from Save the Last Dance, Cruel Intentions, Barbershop franchise, & Halloween: Resurrection) helps her out. Patricia’s children, Carlos (played by: Oliver Alexander from Sydney to the Max) & Tomas (played by: Aiden Lewandowski from Peanuts), tell Anna to keep them in the room so they are protected. Ignoring their warnings, she brings the boys to the police. At a child services shelter, Tomas sleepwalks numbly through the facility & Carlos follows him until Tomas points to a mirror where both boys see a woman clad in a white dress. The mirror cracks and the woman grabs Carlos. Anna is called to investigate the deaths of the boys, found drowned in a river. Bringing her children Chris (played by: Roman Christou) & Sam (played by: Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen from Self/less & NCIS: New Orleans), she tells them to stay in the car while she investigates the murder scene. She hears Patricia who is accused of her sons’ murders, screaming that it was Anna’s fault for taking her sons & that Patricia had tried to stop the malevolent force of the woman in white, “La Llorona” (played by: Marisol Ramirez from The Shield, 9-1-1, Shameless, & Ten Days in the Valley). Chris leaves the car to investigate himself & is seized by La Llorona leaving burn marks on his arm. He rushes back to the car, but La Llorona appears again & frightens him into shock. The next day, Sam is also grabbed by the spirit, leaving identical burn marks on her arm. Anna interviews Patricia, who has an alibi for the time of her sons’ deaths & tells her about La Llorona. Patricia reveals that in her hatred for Anna, she prayed to La Llorona to take Anna’s children & bring her own boys back. The family continues to be terrorized by La Llorona. The next morning, Anna seeks help from Father Perez (played by: Tony Amendola from Annabelle, The Devil’s Candy, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, & The Legend of Zorro), who relates the case to his previous experiences with a haunted porcelain doll. Perez tells Anna about former priest Rafael Olvera (played by: Raymond Cruz from Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul,Major Crimes, & The Closer), who can help get rid of the entity. Rafael arrives at Anna’s house, setting up candles & other items to protect the family. Can they stop the legendary La Llorona for her reign of terror????
The Curse of La Llorona had so much potential but it couldn’t live up to the hype. La Llorona is a legendary scary Mexican tale & they finally made a big feature about it. The Conjuring Universe has been very solid so far & I enjoyed The Nun more than most reviewers. James Wan is a great producer so when his name is attached to a project, it instantly gets my attention. New Line Cinema promoted the hell outta The Curse of La Llorona. I seen the trailer more than anything when I went to the theaters. It was supposed to come out way earlier but it got delayed for some reason so the promo for it kept running for a long time. One of the best things about The Curse of La Llorona is the talented cast. Linda Cardellini is great as the lead & it’s awesome to see her get a big role like this after all this time. She usually has a supporting role or just plays “the wife” now. Marisol Ramirez is very creepy as “La Llorona”, she’s mainly known for television but she took the opportunity to stand out on the big screen with this. She had the right delivery here, she wasn’t too over the top or cartoony in this like other villains. She took the role serious rather than making it a joke or something for cheap scares plus she looks really cool. Patricia Velasquez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Tony Amendola, & Raymond Cruz all provided quality support for the production. Raymond Cruz played a completely different role from what I used to seeing from him. He made such a big impact in a short amount of time in this. Unfortunately, acting can’t always save movies. The script is awful & it’s so bad that the performances can’t do much with the written material. It’s very slow at times & it leaves you bored before anything really happens. It tries too hard to scare the audience at times & it comes off as unintentionally hilarious because it’s just flat out horrible. The Curse of La Llorona is a mixed bag, as a drama it works a little better before things start to pick up but as a horror film especially from someone like New Line Cinema it’s probably the worst one I’ve seen all year & that’s saying A LOT!!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Warner Bros! This 1080p (2.40:1) transfer looks great on blu ray. There’s some real nice & stylized visuals when “La Llorona” shows up. It’s loaded with a variety of audio options which includes English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1 on this release. It’s dialogue heavy & everything is crystal clear on the tracks. All the scares are elevated & the music has a killer boost to it. It also has English SDH, French, Portuguese, & Spanish subtitles. Both picture & sound are very impressive on this blu ray release. it’s a quality technical release!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Warner Bros! “The Myth of La Llorona” is a little over two minutes. It has interviews with actors Patricia Velasquez, Marisol Ramirez, Tony Amendola, & Raymond Cruz. They talk about the legendary tale & their own experience with it. They chat about being surprised it took so long to make a big feature about it. “Behind the Curse” is almost 10 minutes. It has interviews with director Michael Chaves, actors Linda Cardellini, Patricia Velasquez, Tony Amendola, Raymond Cruz, & various members of the production. It starts off very similar to the previous extra. They all chat about the classic Mexican folktale. They mention that it didn’t feel cliche & came off authentic. They talk about their experience on the film plus working with both producer James Wan & director Michael Chaves. They all praise the script & said it left them scared. Tony Amendola mentions coming back to The Conjuring universe with this. Raymond Cruz says he did deep research for his role. They claim the house they filmed in was actually haunted. They talk about the 70s setting for the production. “The Making of a Movie Monster” is almost 6 minutes. It has interviews with director Michael Chaves, actors Raymond Cruz, Marisol Ramirez, Roman Christou, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, & various members of the production. This focuses on the main villain & monster of the film. They say they had trouble finding the right actress for the role until Marisol Ramirez auditioned for the Patricia role. It takes you behind the scenes the make up & costume process for the character. It shows a variety of looks they considered. They mention she has potential to be recurring role & franchise character. They all praise the actress & joke that she is nothing like that in real life. “Deleted Scenes” that end up a little over 11 minutes which includes: Raphael’s Shop; Christ Shoot, Cooper, Lock-Up Gun; Extended Welfare Check; Patricia Enters House; Warren’s Hand Off; & Church Ending. A little over 17 minutes of “Storyboards”. It compares a variety of the original storyboards to the actual filmed scenes. It has some unreleased stuff in there after all of that. It also includes a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. It’s available everywhere right now.