Review: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ will haunt viewers

Famous Mexican folklore of weeping woman comes to film


Courtesy of Atomic Monster and New Line Cinema.

The Curse of La Llorona” was released on Friday, April 19 with anticipation to put its own modern spin on the folktale. In the Mexican folklore told to children to keep them obedient to their elders, La Llorona herself will come upon the children who disobey their parents. The concept is smart, making audience members anxious to watch what comes next. The movie has enough jump scares, making viewers crave a second film.

The film starts with La Llorona and her family dancing in the middle of a field. One of the boys gives the mother a necklace and then magically everyone around him disappears; this already made everyone super suspicious about the terror they were about to experience. The confused boy begins walking around the woods near a river, hears struggling behind a bush and sees his mother drowning his brother. At this point in the motion picture, the audience tries to figure out why she decided to kill her sons. After killing her two sons, guilt consumed her causing her to commit suicide, making La Llorona (Marisol Ramirez) an evil entity after death. This made the film appealing, sticking with the original folktale and understanding of why she kills children along with gains she receives from their deaths.

The plot takes off with a Child Protective Service officer, Anna Garcia (Linda Cardellini), going to a house reported to have child abuse. The place was crawling with excessive witchcraft tools and creepy satanic writings on the wall; this gave the flick more substance. Anna finds two boys, like the ones in the early tale, locked in a closet by their estranged mother, Patricia (Patricia Velasquez). The movie reaches its rising conflict when the boys are put into a Catholic home for boys. At that point the entity, La Llorona, makes perfect appearances and gives chilling goosebumps, drawing the audience more into horror films.

One of the most frightening scenes was when Anna’s daughter Sam (Sierra Heuermann) was in the bathtub, and Anna came to assist washing her hair. This scene was La Llorona washing Sam’s hair, attempting to drown her. Seeing this made the audience root for Sam to be saved, but in all honesty, the viewers knew the director wouldn’t kill her. Causing this massive adrenaline rush, the entity was consistent in terrorizing the family. Looking for solutions to try to get rid of the monster, the audience gave up for any real solution the family had of getting away from La Llorona.  

The movie’s climax was rushed but wasn’t forced. The duration of the movie stood at one hour and 33 minutes, which is short for a horror movie if the directors wanted the watchers to feel the suspense more intensely. Having the movie cut right to the chase and start scaring the viewers was better than leading the viewers to a flop movie. The actors executed their roles well. While audience members were disappointed with the lead not being Hispanic, director Michael Chaves chose to select actors based on their acting abilities rather than their race.

“The Curse of La Llorona” perfectly captivated emotions and portrayed horror by scaring on amazing cues. Because it was refreshing to watch a scary film that actually scared viewers, this film deserves 9.5 out of 10 stars. The only problem in the entire movie was the lack of captions during Spanish prayers in the climax of the action.