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Film FestivalsMovie ReviewsSXSW 2019: The Curse of La Llorana Review

Keith NoakesMarch 17, 2019

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s SXSW Film Festival, to keep up with our latest coverage, click here.

Synopsis: 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. Beware of her chilling wail…she will stop at nothing to lure you into the gloom. Because there is no peace for her anguish. There is no mercy for her soul. And there is no escape from the curse of La Llorona. (Warner Bros.)

Starring: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, and Patricia Velasquez

Writers: Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

Director: Michael Chaves

Rating: R (United States)

Running Time: 93mins

Trailer:

Perhaps the worst kept secret about The Curse of La Llorana is that it is part of The Conjuring series. Now The Conjuring series has been hit or miss lately in terms of its spinoff entries. Luckily, this film fares better than the latest lackluster spinoffs though to be honest, this doesn’t necessarily mean much. While there’s nothing particularly new about this film, what it does do, it does just well enough to be somewhat entertaining despite not being much of a surprise in the horror department. The film has all the jump scares and spooky ambiance we’ve come to expect with a surprising amount of humor to break things up.

The story here was about a social worker and single mother named Anna (Cardellini) who would unwittingly find herself and her two children (Roman Christou and Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen) as targets of a supernatural entity known as La Llorona. Anna and her family have a backstory of their own but it would not matter all that much beyond reinforcing Anna’s obvious connection to her children. Feeling both trapped and at their wit’s end following a string of unusual occurrences, Anna would enlist the help of a former priest named Rafael (Cruz) for help. From there, it would be a battle as he would try to rid La Llorona from the family and their house for good. Doing so would prove to be easier said than done. Regardless, this was still tense to watch despite its predictable nature.

The acting was decent across the board despite not being overly tested by the mediocre material. The film was fun to watch with Cardellini standing out as Anna. Not primarily known as a horror actress, she definitely held her own here in what was a more active role and she was compelling to watch as a result. Cruz and his imposing presence stole scenes as Rafael.

Overall, The Curse of La Llorona is a fun yet derivative horror movie that may not revolutionize the genre but serves as a better than average entry in The Conjuring universe. The acting was serviceable and the film doesn’t wear out its welcome.

Score: 7/10

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