The Curse of La Llorona: An Insomniac Review

So I had the opportunity to check out the latest horror flick from the people who brought us the rest of The Conjuring flicks.

I’m not one to scare easily but this movie gave me quite a few jumps. Even my kid had the heebie-jeebies and much like me, she doesn’t scare easily…well nowadays she doesn’t. But with the constant jump-scares… It was bound to happen at least once.

The Curse La Llorona or Weeping Woman is the folklore of a young, beautiful (albeit insecure) woman who was so hurt by her cheating husband that she drowned her 2 young kids in a river in a fit of rage. Once she realized what she had done, she then took her own life. Apparently her husband hurt her so badly that she decided to get him back by taking away something he cherished, his children.

See now that’s toxic mess that is the reason why I rather be single…lol! I mean how fucked do you have to be that you are so consumed by another person? Well I guess I’ve been there but gladly it didn’t turn me homicidal. But then again, I’m not a woman in the 17th century… But before I go there…

Anyway, La Llorona goes around now haunting other mothers and drowning their kids so that they can take the place of her kids.

When I first saw the trailer, I thought of this very ghost tale I heard growing up as well as very first episode of Supernatural. While this movie follows the legend of La Llorona more closely than Supernatural, I prefer the latter. Mainly because the ghost girl takes her frustrations out on unfaithful men instead of a little innocent kids. But I guess that’s what makes flicks scarier when kids croak. That being said…the trailer pretty reveal all this movie is cracked up to be. And so this review contains some spoilers!

But following the story, it brings us to the 1970’s, a simpler time of disco and bell bottoms. Widowed, overworked single mom and social worker, Anna Garcia played my Linda Cardellini (Velma from the live action Scooby Doo movies). She swamps herself with cases in order to get passed the recent death of her husband and former police officer. Another storyline they kinda gloss over. Anna’s kids, Sam, her daughter & Chris her son who is the eldest are caught in the middle of a creepy ghost tale after one of her cases, another single mom, “Patricia” has been flagged for child truancy and abuse.

Anna finds the woman rather erratic with her kids locked in a closet. Unbeknownst to Anna that they are hiding from La Llorona. After the kids are taken by child protective services, you can guess what happens next.

The movie brushes over a very familiar and popular Conjuring movie only to provide a connection by mentioning an infamous doll that isn’t Chucky. But honestly, it made me over think about the continuity of the series. Personally it’s overkill and does nothing overtly special to connect the two tales. To be honest, it’s a sloppy cameo for the Annabelle priest…which is sad because this is a folklore that really could’ve stood on it’s own.

But…moving along, Anna enlists the help of that same priest. After letting her know that the church cannot help right away, he refers her to archdiocese-banned former priest, Rafael Olvera played by Raymond Cruz (better known as Tico Salamanca from Breaking Bad). He’s like a witch doctor (for lack of a better word) who agrees to help rid both her and her kids from a fatal death at the hands of this crazy woman. To be honest he’s the best and most underutilized character in this story.

Her two kids are acted out very well. Although the youngest, her daughter is a little annoying as any little kid can be. The older son who idolizes his dad, has a moment of bravery in the end. The tension builds up pretty well in most scenes to set up for jump scares and are shot with just enough lighting to make it work. This flick pretty much gives you classic “Conjuring” vibes from beginning to end not to mention other horror movie tropes of which you’re not supposed to do. With run time of about an hour and a half, La Llorona wastes no time with her oogie boogie. Despite it’s many flaws it’s not the worst-put-together flick.

This sort of movie does ok holding its own without constant reminders that it’s apart of Ed and Lorraine Warren’s ghost universe. That being said, much like those movies, it’s dark… I mean really dark where the characters find themselves searching around in rooms with the lights off like the Nun.

All that aside, La Llorona isn’t a bad horror movie but it’s not the best. If you like creepy settings & jump scares or anything Conjuring, you will dig this flick. It just doesn’t give you a whole lot to hold onto. It had the potential to really flesh out the weeping woman. Yet despite an awesome idea to be made with a decent budget, it feels kinda unoriginal. But again, it’s not a bad horror flick at it’s core.

So even if you don’t like those movies I think you will still enjoy this. Unlike Jordan Peele’s, Us you don’t require a lot of thinking for this flick…or any at all.

It’s an in-your-face horror ghost movie that ends as soon as it begins. Honestly I would have been more happy had they built a stronger connection with the titular ghost lady. I felt more connected to her story line in the 50 minutes of Supernatural as well as an episode of former Grimm (another paranormal show based on fairy tales) than it did at all in this flick. And it’s sad because La Llorona looks friggin amazing. Kudos to actress Marisol Ramirez for her performance as well as costume & make-up. I just felt this legend could have been done a bit more justice and fleshing out instead of trying to make people jump every ten minutes.

My vote is it’s still awesome. (If you’re into jump-scares and The Conjuring)

Til Later Kiddies,

Shalom

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