Movie #225 2020: The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

Huzzah! The last movie in the Conjuring universe! Well, that’s unless The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It finally hits cinema screens on its scheduled September 2020 release date. I must admit, I have had a fun time watching these films, even if some of them aren’t exactly cinematic classics, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you catching me hitting theatres for a viewing of the third Conjuring movie. Only time will tell…

The Curse of La Llorona is a standalone film, much like The Nun was before it. Based on old Latin American folklore, La Llorona (‘The Weeping Woman’) is the story of a woman who was driven to madness before she drowned her own children in despair. Legend has it that the mother now haunts families in an attempt to take their children as her own, which is just what happens during the events of this movie in 1970s Los Angeles. Social services officer Anna (Linda Cardellini) becomes the lead character, and after trying to help a mother and her children on one of her cases, La Llorona instead latches onto her and makes an attempt to take Anna’s children away from her too.

Sadly, this is a script that not even the undeniable excellence and charisma of Ms. Cardellini could save, but I must stress how great she is in this movie. She deserves much better than this, and it’s quite the relief that she’s since found her feet on Netflix’s outstanding drama, Dead to Me. Anyway, despite the poor, slow-paced movie she’s given, she hits right back with a brilliant performance here.

So many other reviews had me believing this was the worst movie ever, but it wasn’t that bad. No, it wasn’t great either, but the backstory and it’s characters are certainly more interesting than the ones in Annabelle. Then again, the fact that it’s not technically the worst movie of the bunch isn’t really good enough. The Curse of La Llorona is probably only on par with The Nun, and definitely doesn’t stand up as well as the other films in this universe.

Perhaps the most disappointing this in this movie is the costuming. I’ve ranted and raved in praise of how well the other movies in this franchise are dressed and clothed, but this one doesn’t hit the heights of the other movies and never fully gets into the 1970s vibe of it all. It’s saving grace is that some of the cinematography is really interesting, and it utilises some unique angles.

The writers of La Llorona were definitely clutching at straws when they came up with the link between this and the rest of the Conjuring. It’s not closely linked enough for it to be intriguing, and doesn’t even have the benefit of Vera Farmiga to spice it up a little. Cardellini really is the only thing that saves you from an incredibly average cast.

Ehhhh. That’s the primary feeling I had after watching this. It’s not the scariest thing in the world, but it deserves 2 Qs purely for my girl Linda and the fact that it was better than Annabelle. But that’s not exactly hard, is it?

The Curse of La Llorona is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

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