The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
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"The Woman from Oklahoma" is frustratingly poor, mostly stemming down from the atrocious writing. The expositional script is nearly absent of any character depth for both the titular ghoul and Velma (forgive me, but Cardellini will always be my Velma). The loose connection with "The Conjuring Universe" is that the father, who explains the entire motives of La La Loner, is the same character from the original 'Annabelle'. That's it. The amount of exposition, for a plot that really doesn't need any whatsoever, is atrocious. And yet, somehow, we practically have no idea why La Macarena is stealing children and how she came about doing this!? All these pathetic explanations and no frickin' depth.
Cardellini was sensationally good. Seriously she saves the film from being the worst of the year (thus far...). Displaying a range of emotions for her children and a ridiculously commanding presence. Sweet lord, I love her. But Velma clearly needed the rest of Mystery Inc. to satisfyingly unmask La Diploma. When Chaves decides to unveil the ghost in the opening sequence in her full form, it leaves little to the imagination. This therefore results in every jump scare (and there are many...) and suspense-driven camera movements to be ineffective.
There is some ingenuity used in various scenes, the umbrella scare was minimally chilling and the long take following Velma throughout her house was well executed. But it's not enough to differentiate itself against every other generic horror film one could easily find on Netflix. The quality and effectiveness that mostly exists in this cinematic universe is not present at all! Predictable right from the bloody start. Velma's children make so many stupid choices that she should've just given them to La Lymphoma. Do not get me started on that doll sequence as the girl reaches out for it on their porch. There's plenty of choking. Eggs explode blood!? Lord, take me now!
Cardellini deserved better. Way better. It started off with an interesting approach on child abuse, but no. Should've known it would throw that out of the window. What should've been a decent mainstream horror turns out to be a supernatural disaster. "I'll See You in Roma" wept its last tear.
The plot wasn't bad. It would have been more interesting if they showed more of how the legend started, but they had a good idea to go with. What really didn't work for this movie was showing La Llorona too many times, to the point that she wasn't scary. What's always creepy in movies like this is not being able to see their face until the very end, which they had a perfect scene to show her, but by then it was too late.
If you like the Conjuring universe/horror movies, it's a fun watch, just don't expect anything special.
It's basically the same concept as The Nun. ('Demon' has the same face etc) Created for jump scares, but very basic. A classic and enjoyable horror flick for the fans. Don't expect much but just empty your mind and enjoy the ride.
The problems with the spirit were very distracting by the end of the film. Very rarely in films like this does anything make a lot of sense, but at least they're not usually as in your face as they are in this film. A spirit that can seemingly do anything, can also only walk through one door to enter a house? An embarrassingly bad piece of writing there. The rules just seemed to be made up as they went along to fit the story.
The film's biggest strength is, as you might imagine, 'La Llorona' herself. She is suitably creepy. She was also used a lot which I liked. Often in these Conjuring universe movies the title character goes missing for large parts of the movie. That can't be said here. The film relies on a lot of jump-scares, some of them are actually done very well and caught me off guard. 'The Curse of La Llorona' does just enough to get by, but there are worse things you could do than going out to see it.
The Mexican folklore is not an exception from his ambitious imperialist list for Conjuring Universe. Delocalisation in the blockbuster film project which depicts the local legend is a serious issue aesthetically.
La llorona is said to be the wandering spirit of a woman who murdered her children after her lover betrayed her by marrying another woman. Spurned by St. Peter until she could bring the souls of her children with her to the Gate of Heaven, she roams the earth, crying, "¡Ay, mis hijos, mis hijos!" Her appearance is said to be a sign of impending disaster or death.
This La llorona film is not the first one in film history. The first one was La llorona (1933; 73min.) which made when Mexico film industry started the sound film making during the golden era. You can see full movie from Youtube.
The Curse of La Llorona (2019) is nether a spin off nor reboot of this tale. La Llorona is just the Nun in this Conjuring packaged film to scare people as a spooky house device. However it follows basic plot of the tale formalistically that La Llorona seeks other families' children to be sacrificed for her own victims, her two children. The official story of this film is below:
"When Anna Garcia (Linda Cardellini), a social worker and widow raising her two children in 1970s Los Angeles, is called to check in on one of her cases, she finds signs of foul play. As she digs deeper, she finds striking similarities between the case and the terrifying supernatural occurrences haunting her family. Enlisting the help of a local faith healer, she discovers that La Llorona has latched herself onto Anna and will stop at nothing to take her children. La Llorona, also known as the Weeping Woman, is a female ghost in Latin American folklore who lost her children and causes misfortune to those nearby. As she searches for them, she takes other lost children, making them her own. Anna turns to mysticism with the help of a disillusioned priest to fight the evil entity."
- Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema
In short, the entire plot is that a social worker Anna Garcia 's children become targets of La Llorona after she mistakenly interrupted exorcism of Patricia Alvarez (Patricia Velasquez) which done for protecting Patricia's own children. The twisting plot is strikingly remarkable that Patricia Alvarez turns against Anna and asks La Llorona to get her children for revenge. It is psychological aspect of this La Llorona film.On the contrary, La Llorona itself is emotionless and mechanical, as the result, there is no emotional interaction with any roles in this film.
What other critics mentioned is high dependencies on jump scares; Kurt Barlow-like make up of La Llorona (The Nun is the same); lack of further in-depth approach to the interesting creepy story; anti vampire tools (cross, bible and holy water) for dealing with the monster; the creative tendency to create cinematic spooky house attraction etc..
There is one thing has to be mentioned is the unique character of the ex-priest, La Llorona hunter Rafael Olvera (Raymond Cruz). He makes Anna and her two children as baits to attract La Llorona for creating a chance to get rid of the evil ghost once and for all. His passiveness during the crisis of Anna's family is something new in this kind of exorcist film.
In general, audiences who want to enjoy spooky house attraction must see this film. However, horror fans who seeks in depth psychological horror drama based on the unique Latin American folklore should see the La Llorona (1933). The Curse of La Llorona (2019) should have explored the psychological aspect of La Llorona instead of creating a spooky house.
Downfalls for me were, The scares were very predictable As typical in most horror movies the responses from the actors to events going on around them was somewhat dumbfounding.
In summary it was a decent enough movie in the Conjuring style and wasn't dissapointed.
Tho it's M rated there were a few parents who brought there pre-teen kids in and they were obviously "scared" and the entire back row of theatre were teens who were giggling and talking the whole time but that's not the movies fault.
The Curse of La Llorona (2019)
Director: Michael Chaves Writers: Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis Stars: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez
Jumps into scares Good Run Time Good Use of Shadows Decent Acting Comedic Relief Good Make Up
Summary: A horror movie has to keep the speed going and get to the darker thrills that this genre brings. The weeping woman's journey does not hesitate to give its audience the chills it wants, hopping into the jumps and creepy tone within minutes of it starting. As such, the pace of the movie is very brisk, keeping in time to present as much of the scare fest as they could in the 90-minute run time. For yours truly, the jump scares don't quite get me, but instead the creepy atmosphere is there to settle into the crevices of your mind. La Llorona is all about utilizing the shadows to stoke the embers of your imagination to craft unspeakable horrors. It's those slight sounds and eerie music that were the scariest components for me and it worked well. I'll hand it to the cast in this film, for they sold the terror of the movie, as if they were being haunted. From the kids to the adults, each one did a wonderful job with the limited roles they had in this film. My favorite was Raymond Cruz, not because he was the star of the film but more so the comedic relief used in his role. Despite all the bone chilling screams, and various telekinetic pulls, the rogue priest makes for some laughs without it being too forced. Finally, in regards to haunted make ups, La Llorona does a nice job of the pale pallor, dark lipstick, and gory liquids to satisfy most make up fans. Nice execution, with some haunting special effects makes for an interesting antagonist.
Simplistic Story Is Okay Jump Scares not So much Flat Characters Trailers Revealed Much Unoriginal Makeup Not The Best Connection To The Universe
SUMMARY: While scaring is the name of the game in these types of movies, the fact they are pumped out rapidly leads to some quality drops for this reviewer. The simplistic nature of this film is a limitation for me, the potential decreased by just the simple presentation that they pulled out. No twists, no original edge, and a story that held a lot of promise were all just mediocre for me and led to a story that was hard to grip onto for me. Even the characters were only semi-there, flat one-dimensional people that weren't the most engaging for me to hook onto. Perhaps the scares would get you, but seasoned horror people like me won't find much in originality from scares, nor the most suspenseful climax. Now part of this was due to me finding tricks of avoiding jumping, and others due to the trailers showing much of these scenes in their brief life on the television. Yes, La Llorona falls victim to the trailer revealing too much, giving you much of the premise in the short two-minute commercials. And while I said the makeup was executed well, this universe is having trouble coming up with unique make ups that don't follow the same template. Because of this, the weeping woman may look good, but she's another pale figure with black lines to emphasize death. And finally, the connection to the Conjuring Universe is like a derivative line touching the main curve. A brief exchange from a shared character it the only opening to the universe and without a teaser or much else to connect, the story telling continues to be lackluster at best.
In truth, the movie about the legendary figure is okay for me. It fills the void of a scary movie for the month, and has some of the traditional means to generate a few jumps. Your best source of entertainment will be to bring those who scare easily to the film and watching them react. Yet in terms of the movie, it's just not the same dark magic that the Conjuring wielded a long time ago. It's got the superficial "charm" to it, and uses shadows well to terrorize the actors they have casted/ Fortunately, despite the limitations, the movie has a low run time, meaning you won't be in the theater that long in case it's not your particular cup of tea. Worth a trip to the theater? Kind of, but I'd say this one leans more towards the home viewing in this reviewer's opinion. My scores are:
Horror/Mystery/Thriller: 6.5 Movie Overall 6.0
This film was unspeakably terrifying, I dont get scared easily but this one will terrify you from start to finish. It is haunting, dark.
Masterpiece in the making a great cast, phenomenal directing and absolutely magnificent performances by all cast.
A truly edge of your seat Horror that will leave you breathless. She is so terrifying and she is coming for you. An outstanding 10/10