Most Angelenos know the Mexican legend of La Llorona, “The Weeping Woman,” that has been resurrected for this movie. If you are not familiar with it, La Llorona drowned her two children to punish her cheating husband. Instantly remorseful, she threw herself in the water and is now cursed to wander for eternity searching for her lost children–or suitable replacements. Like the boogey man, she is used to threaten mischevious children into behaving.
In “The Curse of La Llorona,” well-meaning but bumbling social worker Anna Tate-Garcia and her two overly curious children attract the attention of the cursed spirit. The rest of the film is a fun series of jump-scares. No matter where you look, La Llorona will manage to be right behind you.
Since this movie is directed by Michael Chaves, who also has a background in Visual Effects, it’s no surprise that the CGI is realistic and adds to the believability and creepiness. Linda Cardellini, a favorite of ours who is seemingly everywhere right now, slips into the role of confused nonbeliever turned fierce tiger mom like a second skin.
There are a few things in the movie that mess with suspension of belief, like if this ghost can materialize anywhere, why can’t she get through a locked door? The family manages to scramble away from countless close calls and escape La Llorona’s clutches for almost two hours. I have to say, for a cursed spirit who’s entire thing is drowning children, she isn’t very good at it. I also think it was a mistake to show extended close-ups of the her, which did not live up to the creepiness of the beautiful long shots when she is covered with a veil, or the terror of a sudden flash of her screaming in a mirror.
Nonetheless, horror enthusiasts will get their money’s worth, with lots of screams and laughter. It’s probably a good date-night movie, as there are a lot of moments that will make you grab the person in the next seat. In spite of the “R” rating, there is none of the explicit sex that is so common in slasher movies, and no real gore, so you can comfortably watch it with a new girlfriend–or even your parents.