BY: GABY MORENO
Movie: The Curse of La Llorona
Review By: Gaby Moreno
Release date: April 19, 2019
Main Cast: Marisol Ramirez, Linda Cardellini, Patricia Velasquez, Raymond Cruz, Tony Amendola and more.
Brief synopsis from online:
Hello Hip Hop Heads and Horror Fans,
Today I will be reviewing, “The Curse of La Llorona“. I went into the movie with low expectations, but at the same time a bit skeptical. I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was a decent horror movie. I was surprised at how entertained the movie kept me. The main reason I went to see it was because it is tied in with the Conjuring universe since the priest that was in Annabelle makes an appearance.
There are various versions of this Mexican legend. I was curious which one they were going to choose for this story. I wanted this legend to be told with respect since it is part of my culture. As a Mexican kid I grew up hearing the legend and I was always fascinated by it and wanted to know where it derived from. This legend has spread worldwide. As a person who is obsessed with legends and folks tales I find it amusing how one tale can travel through spoken word and now it has become a film in the Conjuring universe. I mean don’t be mistaken “La Llorona” legend has made it on film various times in Mexican Cinema, but to see it gaining mainstream attention in the U.S. is cool to witness!
The movie begins by taking us back to 1673 in Mexico. They show a woman who is in love with her boyfriend and gets happily married. Then it fast forwards to them having two boys. After that it moves to a different scene where one of the boys is looking for his brother and mother. He finds them, but to his dismay he sees his mom drowning his brother in the river stream. He runs to get away, but his mom chases him and catches him.
The film then moves to the year 1973 in Los Angeles and shows a single mom Anna hurrying her son and daughter to make it in the time to catch the bus. They end up missing the bus and the scene moves to Anna going to her job. She is a social worker for CPS. One of her cases is a mother (Patricia) who has two boys. The movie immediately gets to the point. This is where the story fails. It quickly gets to la llorona curse, but we are never given a backstory as to how la llorona was conjured.
The film then has us follow Anna as she goes to Patricia’s home for a welfare check since her sons have not been going to school. Anna convinces Patricia to allow her to enter the home, but Patricia seems very terrorized. As Anna enters the home she sees candles lit all over the house with symbols on the walls and observes a key around Patricia’s neck. Anna then notices a pad locked door. She is then attacked by Patricia, but Anna was accompanied by a cop (who was waiting outside the apartment). He comes in just in time to grab Patricia and Anna unlocks the door. Patricia’s two sons are in there completely scared and seem like they have not slept or ate in days.
They assume Patricia was committing child abuse, there are marks on the boys wrists which Anna sees. The two boys are sent to a shelter for the night. At the shelter to make the story short they are taken by la llorona and are found drowned in a nearby river. Anna is called to the scene, due to being a single parent she takes her daughter and son to the crime scene. They wait in the car, but like always curiosity killed the cat. Her son Chris gets off to get a closer look at the crime scene. He is trying to follow his father’s footsteps who was a cop, but has since passed away.
While he is looking from afar in the tunnel there is a bit of woods. He hears a woman weeping in the woods. He starts looking to see who she is. Of course it is la llorona she ends up moving closer to him and grabs his wrist causing a burn or more of a mark. Chris immediately runs to the car with his sister. Anna gets back to the car and asks if everything is fine. Chris says everything is fine. He is too frightened to tell his mom what he saw.
Skipping a few scenes to get to the main premise. Anna’s family is now marked by la llorona’s curse and they need to find a way to get rid of her since her ultimate goal is to take Anna’s children. We are eventually introduced to a curandero named Rafael who the priest from the Annabelle movie recommends to help them. He eventually ends up helping the family get rid of the curse and kill la llorona or so we think.
The movie relied on jump scares, but a lot of the modern horror films do that so it’s not out of the ordinary. A few things I did enjoy was some of the mythology they added like the fire tree being sort of what salt is to witches. As well as tear anti venom and the fire tree crucifix stake. Also from a director stand point I loved the scenes that were filmed from the characters point of view. The filter they use is always dark for the conjuring universe it’s still hard to adjust to since I love a little bit of brightness. But in this case it worked in the films favor to make it more eerie and creepy.
The downside is I wished it would have been a full Mexican cast. We need more representation in films like this that are about our culture. Also to give it more authenticity it should have taken place in Mexico and an actual river. Maybe it should have been a period film as well. I know they had to make it more modern and it had to take place in the 1970s to fit in the Conjuring universe. The sense of humor seemed forced at times, but it lightened the mood of this dark tale. It does leave the viewer thinking their might be a sequel or a possibility of a crossover. Could there be a Nun vs. Annabelle vs. La Llorona? lol . Overall I recommend the film if you love the horror genre or are obsessed with this legend as I am.
Thank you for reading my review. Hope you all enjoyed it! Until next time horror fiends and hip hop heads! While you’re at it follow my blog on social media @7octoberz and Facebook!