The Conjuring Universe consumes successful horror film icons and devices, such as demons, possessed dolls, exorcists, evil dead, zombies, anti-vampire tools, Kurt Barlow-like makeup in the Salem's Lot, The Amityville Horror and now James Wan consciously consumes local monster tales, ghost stories of the world as part of his own Conjuring Universe.
The Mexican folklore is not an exception from his ambitious imperialist list for Conjuring Universe. Delocalisation in the blockbuster film project which depicts the local legend is a serious issue aesthetically.
La llorona is said to be the wandering spirit of a woman who murdered her children after her lover betrayed her by marrying another woman. Spurned by St. Peter until she could bring the souls of her children with her to the Gate of Heaven, she roams the earth, crying, "¡Ay, mis hijos, mis hijos!" Her appearance is said to be a sign of impending disaster or death. (1)
This La llorona film is not the first one in film history. The first one was La llorona (1933; 73min.) which made when Mexico film industry started the sound film making during the golden era. You can see full movie from YouTube link below:
The Curse of La Llorona (2019) is neither a spin off nor reboot of this tale. La Llorona is just the Nun in this Conjuring packaged film to scare people as a spooky house device. However it follows basic plot of the tale formalistically that La Llorona seeks other families' children to be sacrificed for her own victims, her two children. The official story of this film is below:
"When Anna Garcia (Linda Cardellini), a social worker and widow raising her two children in 1970s Los Angeles, is called to check in on one of her cases, she finds signs of foul play. As she digs deeper, she finds striking similarities between the case and the terrifying supernatural occurrences haunting her family. Enlisting the help of a local faith healer, she discovers that La Llorona has latched herself onto Anna and will stop at nothing to take her children. La Llorona, also known as the Weeping Woman, is a female ghost in Latin American folklore who lost her children and causes misfortune to those nearby. As she searches for them, she takes other lost children, making them her own. Anna turns to mysticism with the help of a disillusioned priest to fight the evil entity."
In short, the entire plot is that a social worker Anna Garcia 's children become targets of La Llorona after she mistakenly interrupted exorcism of Patricia Alvarez (Patricia Velasquez) which done for protecting Patricia's own children.
The twisting plot is strikingly remarkable that Patricia Alvarez turns against Anna and asks La Llorona to get her children for revenge. It is psychological aspect of this La Llorona film. On the contrary, La Llorona itself is emotionless and mechanical, as the result, there is no emotional interaction with any roles in this film.
What other critics mentioned is high dependencies on jump scares; Kurt Barlow-like make-up of La Llorona (The Nun is the same); lack of further in-depth approach to the interesting creepy story; anti vampire tools (cross, bible and holy water) for dealing with the monster; the creative tendency to create cinematic spooky house attraction etc..
There is one thing has to be mentioned is the unique character of the ex-priest, La Llorona hunter Rafael Olvera (Raymond Cruz). He makes Anna and her two children as baits to attract La Llorona for creating a chance to get rid of the evil ghost once and for all. His passiveness during the crisis of Anna's family is something new in this kind of exorcist film.
In general, audiences who want to enjoy spooky house attraction must see this film. However, horror fans who seeks in depth psychological horror drama based on the unique Latin American folklore should see the La Llorona (1933). The Curse of La Llorona (2019) should have explored the psychological aspect of La Llorona instead of creating a spooky house.
(1) http://www.braineater.com/la_llorona_1933.html Accessed on April 19, 2019.
(2) https://www.indiewire.com/2018/10/curse-of-la-llorona-trailer-mexican-folklore-james-wan-1202012823/ Accessed on April 19, 2019.
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