HomeMoviesThe Curse of La Llorona Review: A Dull Chapter in the...

The Curse of La Llorona Review: A Dull Chapter in the ‘Conjuring’ Universe

The Curse of La Llorona
Photo Credit: Warner Bros

Written by Tom Moore

James Wan and theConjuringUniverse have set out to create terrifying supernatural stories that will scare audiences like never before. With some films more focused on demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren and others more focused on the demons they find, the Conjuring Universe hasn’t stumbled much in creating fresh new monsters to invade viewers’ nightmares. Unfortunately, with the newest addition to theConjuring Universe,The Curse of La Llorona, viewers will be way more bored than scared as they’re introduced to one of the dullest chapters in the Conjuring Universe.

Based on the Mexican folk tale, the film follows Anne Garcia (Linda Cardellini), a social worker living with her two children, Chris (Roman Christou) and Samantha (Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen),in 1970’s Los Angeles. While things seem normal at first, they take a supernatural turn when Anne’s family is suddenly haunted by an ancient spirit known as La Llorona (Marisol Ramirez) or The Weeping Woman. It aims to take Anne’s kids in order to bring back her own so Anne is now forced to keep the spirit at bay before it takes her children.

Honestly, I really can’t figure out why the film makes a point that it takes place in Los Angeles, as this setting doesn’t add anything to La Llorona’s story. Being in Los Angeles just feels odd and the Mexican culture there isn’t really touched on much.I couldn’t help but think how much better this film could’ve been if it took place in Mexico, as there could’ve been more of a world-building aspect with seeing La Llorona’s impact in Mexican culture and daily life directly. Instead, we get a few people discussing her impact and the lack of detail makes her story feel incredibly Americanized and weak.

Even weaker are the film’s scares, as it’s pretty much only filled with jump scares that are incredibly telegraphed and predictable. There are small cries that comes from La Llorona that basically kick off this formula every single time: someone hears her crying, they follow the noise, they don’t find anything at first, and then La Llorona jumps out with a laughably dumb scream and grabs them. Moments like this could’ve been scarier if the film tried to make it seem like this formula could be broken. For instance, there’s a sequence where Chris thinks the crying is coming from Samantha and goes to investigate. If it were actually her, there could’ve been moments where viewers could question whether it’s La Llorona or not. However, this never happens, so there’s never any doubt that viewers won’t know what’s coming.

I will say that there are some nice sequences that build some solid suspense and show some of the nice visual effects the film has. La Llorona herself also has a solidly creepy look and a nice design. However, her creepiness fades quickly as her loud screams and scares become both expected and kind of dumb after a while.

Nothing compares, though, to how the characters’ irrational decision making comes off as unintentionally funny and makes the film feel like a parody that’s taking itself way too seriously. There’s a sequence where Samantha’s doll ends up outside the protective barrier keeping La Llorona out of the house and she begins to reach for it. Literally no one, including myself, could contain their annoyance by this scene and words of “what are you doing” and “oh my gosh, she’s so stupid” filled the theater. There are plenty of other moments like this throughout the film and while they are typical in the genre, I’m tired of seeing them because they don’t add suspense or come off as scary and they just make the characters look stupid.

Worst of all, the comedy doesn’t stop there as the film’s “unorthodox” priest, Rafael (Raymond Cruz), is impossible to take seriously. Every line and moment he has is used for a joke or some kind of dumb moment that completely takes you out of the film. Instead of giving the film a more serious tone and giving insights into how to stop La Llorona, he’s just used for comedic relief. Even some of the ritualistic things he does come off as jokes and there’s a scene with eggs that kept laughing me for way too long. Honestly, if the film was trying to be more of a parody of Conjuring movies, it could have worked, but it takes itself way too seriously for it to be a true parody.

If you weren’t sure ifThe Curse of La Llorona was part of the Conjuring Universe, the film also kind of forgets so there’s no need to worry. There’s only one moment, that’s completely un-impactful, where the film recognizes the other films and maybe that’s for the better. The Curse of La Llorona doesn’t compare to the greater works within the Conjuring Universe and those looking for the next great film will likely have to wait until Annabelle comes back to the big screen in June.

The Curse of La Llorona is now playing in theaters everywhere.

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

Most Recent

Stay Connected