In 1970s Los Angeles, La Llorona is stalking the night — and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope to survive La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices to keep evil at bay, on the fringes where fear and faith collide.
Plot: Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm.
Director: Michael Chaves
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Runtime: 93 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Content to coast on jump scares rather than tap into its story’s creepy potential, The Curse of La Llorona arrives in theaters already broken.
“A formula that continues to work, some story — jump scares galore.”
If you need a refresh on the story; Anna Tate-Garcia is tasked to investigate the disappearance of Patricia Alvarez’s two children. When Anna arrives at Patricia’s house for a welfare check she ultimately finds the children locked behind a door. From there, Patricia attacks her and blames the entire thing on the woman in the white dress. She wasn’t hurting her children, she was protecting them. Assuming she’s deranged, Patricia is taken away by the police and her children are sent to a “safe” facility — only to be found later that night mysteriously drowned in the river. Bringing her children Chris and Sam the crime scene, Anna tells them to stay in the car while she investigates the murder. One of her children leaves the car and is attacked by the women in white “La Llorona,” and the movie begins.
I always find myself in a hard place describing a movie like this — the typical “horror movie,” because I’m a fan of the genre. Is it (put my critic hat on) a good movie? No. Is it predicable? Yes. Does it rely on jump scares? Yes. Is there a deep backstory to be interested in? Maybe. Is it entertaining? Yes. That’s what I always come back to. While you can obviously argue that more movies in the horror genre that are ‘critically good’ are better for the brand, these movies still serve their purpose and The Curse of La Llorona does just that. It’s popcorn-horror suitable for all that are looking to enjoy them.
Moving forward, this movie is actually part of the Conjuring franchise, but I’m not going to get into spoilers — you will have to see that for yourself. One things for sure, The Conjuring series continues to make a boat load of money at the box office and its currently Warner Bro’s most successful franchise. This movie’s budget was $9 million and it made $122 million at the box office — The Nun had a $22 million budget, made $365 million at the box office — Annabelle: Creation had a $15 million budget, made $306 million at the box office… and that’s just the last couple movies. It’s a billion dollar horror franchise and there’s no signs of stopping because there’s still a ton of money to be made, so get ready for more of the Conjuring world.
As a horror fan, I love that the genre is doing great at the box office, we need more big money horror. Another one to look at is IT, that made over $700 million at the box office and you can bet the upcoming IT: Chapter 2 will exceed that figure (also a product of Warner Bros.) Back to The Curse of La Llorona, when it comes to my recommendation — if you’re a fan of this ongoing series you will have to add this to your collection, how could you not? I’m not saying it’s a great movie, but it does the job and if you’re just looking for a scare, this should do the trick. It’s definitely got the jump scares, all the goosebumps and bad feelings. Otherwise, if you can handle some horror and are looking for a one-time watch, give it a rent and don’t watch it alone.
The Curse of La Llorona releases at all retailers tomorrow August 6th on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital.
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