Coming off last year’s laughably shoddy The Nun, The Curse of La Llorona is certainly a welcomed step up for The Conjuring cinematic universe (check out my ranking of all six films here). However, that more speaks to just how godawful The Nun truly is and actually says very little about the quality of Curse. So here it is: The Curse of La Llorona is a competently composed corporate offering fresh off James Wan’s Conjuring assembly line.
Now six films in, Wan and Warner Bros. have figured out a tried and true formula for making these Conjur-Verse movies and La Llorona adheres to that formula at every turn. If you’re still thrilled by that formula, chances are you’ll enjoy this film. Everyone else will likely be checking their phones with increased regularity, burnt out by the staleness and predictability of both the story and the scares well before Curse hits the halfway point.
Linda Cardellini, whose casting is perhaps the most inspired thing about The Curse of La Llorona, gives one of the most memorable performances in all the Conjuring series as Anna Tate-Garcia, a widowed social worker who takes the wrong case and now finds herself fighting to save the souls of her two kids, Chris (Roman Christou) and Samantha (Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen), from an evil maternal spirit from Latin American folklore known as La Llorona, or the Weeping Woman.
It’s a harrowing tale to be sure, but one that has been repeated– forgive the pun– to death throughout the Conjuring series. In a couple of scenes, The Curse of La Llorona teases some compelling narrative threads that could have helped the film stand out from the faceless swarm of similar flicks in the genre. Unfortunately, each time director Michael Chaves quickly drops those potentially game-changing story beats in favor of something safer and less interesting. This is doubly disappointing knowing that James Wan himself has selected Chaves as his replacement to helm The Conjuring 3. At least we know the third film will be capably constructed in the very least.
La Llorona herself definitely looks the part of an eerie apparition with her flaky, pale skin and bright yellow eyes and dark, bloody tears. Here’s the thing, though: how many ghosts or ghouls from film fit that description? You couldn’t count them all. La Llorona is another standard specter doomed to roam the frames of a rather unexceptional horror movie for all eternity.
⭐️⭐️1/2 (out of five)
There they are, my thoughts on The Curse of La Llorona! Have you seen the film yet? Do you agree or disagree? Float on down to the comments below and share your thoughts on the latest Conjuring film!