The Curse of La Llorona

The Curse of La Llorona is a 2019 American supernatural horror film directed by Michael Chaves in his directorial debut, and written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. It is the sixth installment in the Conjuring Universe franchise. Based on the Mexican folklore of La Llorona, the film stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz and Patricia Velásquez, and follows a mother in Los Angeles 1973 who must save her children from a malevolent spirit who is trying to steal them away. The film was produced by James Wan through his Atomic Monster Productions banner.

The movie starts with the legend of La Llorona who in 1963 Mexico, while enjoying some family time with her sons is given a necklace by her younger son. The boy closes his eyes briefly, and when he opens them, his family is missing. The boy finds his mother drowning his brother in a stream. Horrified, he runs away but his mother catches him and seemingly drowns him too. 300 years later in Los Angeles, Mexican caseworker Anna Tate-Garcia investigates the disappearance of client Patricia Alvarez’s two children. Anna arrives at Patricia’s house for a welfare check. Inside, she finds the children locked behind a door, and Patricia attacks her and is taken away by the police. Patricia’s children, brothers Carlos and Tomas, tell Anna to keep them in the room so they are protected. Ignoring their warnings, she brings the boys to the police.

While in a shelter Tomas starts walking his his sleep and his brother Carlos follows him and he sees La Llorona in a mirror and she grabs the boys. They end up dead by drowning in the river and Anna is the suspect. Bringing her children Chris and Sam, she tells them to stay in the car while she investigates the murder scene. She hears Patricia, accused of her sons’ murders, screaming that it was Anna’s fault for taking her sons, and that Patricia had tried to stop the malevolent force of the woman in white, “La Llorona”. Curious, Chris comes out leaves the car to investigate himself and is seized by La Llorona, leaving burn marks on his arm. He rushes back to the car, but La Llorona appears again and frightens him into shock. The next day, Sam is also grabbed by the spirit, leaving identical burn marks on her arm. Anna interviews Patricia, who has an alibi for the time of her sons’ deaths and tells her about La Llorona.

Patricia reveals that in her anger against Anna, she prayed to La Llorrona to take Anna’s children and bring her own boys back. Anna encounters La Llorona when the spirit attempts to drown Sam in the bathtub. She saves Sam, and the ghost leaves burn marks on Anna’s arm too. Anna seeks help from father Perez who leads her to former priest Rafael Olvera, who can help get rid of the entity. Rafael arrives at Anna’s house, setting up candles and other items to protect the family. In the night, La Llorona repeatedly attacks them and attempts to drown Anna and Sam in the pool. Patricia arrives, attempting to give Anna’s children to La Llorona in exchange for her own. Sam and Chris flee while Anna pleads with Patricia in the basement; Patricia comes to her senses and releases Anna, allowing her to help her children.

Chris delays La Llorona by showing her a necklace Anna took off of her in the pool, which makes La Llorona briefly assume her human appearance. Sam then accidentally unveils a mirror which takes La Llorona out of her human appearance and proceeds to attack the children. Anna stabs her through the chest with a cross made from a Fire Tree – trees that grew by the river where La Llorona drowned her children, the only ‘witness’ to her crime – and the spirit is destroyed. Anna and her children thank Rafael for his help; as the children run back into the house, Anna sees what looks like a puddle of tears.

Scary but mostly because of the jump scares and hardly anything to shout over the rooftops. The story is something very familiar and isn’t very exciting. 7 outta 10!

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