Movie Review: The Curse of La Llorona

When I saw the people associated with the Conjuring series were making another movie, one that didn’t involve their previous works, I was really excited. Annabelle had kind of lost its luster, and the Warren story seemed to run its course.

Diving into the Mexican (I think) legend of La Llorona seemed like a fantastic movie. I’ve heard similar stories from different cultures, but the woman who drowns kids always seemed like the scariest of the lot. Under the guidance of horror masterminds, it should have been great.

Was it? Read on and find out.


Darkness Throughout

First things first, this movie was SCARY. It was honestly frightening. It takes a lot to scare me since I’ve seen so many of these dang movies, but this one did the trick. It wasn’t so much the jump scares; they don’t really hit the spot. It was the general buildup, the dark atmosphere, the lonely setting. And, of course, the monster-faced ghost.

(Side note: Why do all ghosts have, like, crazy diseased-looking faces? Why can’t they just be… normal? Oh well.)

Hispanic Culture

I was a bit worried that this story would be American-ized, and the ghost with Mexican origins would be attacking a family of typical, white Americans. It was really nice to see the Hispanic influences in the movie; even if the main character was white, she was a CPS worker, which isn’t often a role in horror films.

Also, you had the crazy, tough, “never-scared” herbal guy, who was both comic relief and the character who kicks the ghost in the butt. That’s definitely a constant theme throughout this movie, as well as the Conjuring universe.

Conjuring Roots

I couldn’t help but compare this movie to the Conjuring, and even the sequels. That film started a franchise, and played a large role in horror films seeping into the modern culture. It was influential in many ways.

In this film, there are certain aspects that correspond to those in the Conjuring movies. However, the biggest difference -and the best feature- is that this movie wasn’t part of the Conjuring universe.

Oh, wait. They’re making another Annabelle? Crap.


All Scenes = Scary

Like I said, this was a scary movie. However, this movie was only scary. There were very few emotional scenes, sweet scenes, romantic scenes. It was just scare, scare, scare, scare, ghost history lesson, scare for the entire 90 minutes, basically. Which is fine, in some cases, but I would have liked to see the plot take on more of a roller-coaster feel, with the typical ups and downs of a horror movie that tugs at your emotional heartstrings and tries to make you pee yourself.

Hollow Characters

Along those same lines, there were no well-rounded characters in this movie, except for the main one. It seems like movies have given up on developing a character over one film, and want to span out that process over a series. Which is fine, but you need to have some development in every film. The people at the end are basically the same as the people at the beginning.

Also, I beg La Llorona not to let this become a series. Let’s just have a good one-off movie. No sequels, please.

Overall: 5.5/10

While this movie was definitely better than The Nun, and left me a little worried about the new Annabelle movie from the trailer, the directors of the Conjuring have returned to their old standard and put together a frightening, suspenseful ride.

This fits in well with the other movies by that team, but it was very refreshing to have a horror movie apart from the Conjuring universe. Guess we’re going back in soon though…

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