24 Apr Review: 2019s The Curse of La Llorona
Next up in my 2019 reviews is The Curse of La Llorona, the latest entry into the Waniverse. Here is my usual brief and mostly spoiler-free review.
At the beginning, we are quickly shown a flash of backstory with La Llorona, and then jump to the 1970s where we quickly meet Anna and her family. The Cure of La Llarona stars the lovely and talented Linda Cardellini as Anna, mother of two, widow and social worker. She is sent on a house visit to a woman named Patricia, who she has some experience with in the past. When she arrives, she can tell immediately that something is off and finds the home filled with candles, magic items, and the boys locked in a closet. From there, bad things start happening to Anna, as La Llorona attaches herself to Anna’s family. That’s enough of a summary.
To start with my notes on the film:
- As expected, it’s a well-shot and well-scored film.
- Lots of very drawn out shots where we are just waiting for the “gotcha,” which have become a trademark of James Wan’s films. They can be effective, but I feel as if it has just run its course by now and I’ve lost interest in those long shots. I will say though, as this was directed by Michael Chavez and only produced by Wan, he did a great job in making it feel like something from Wan. Continuity is important in this universe because there have been some really solid entries.
- I do enjoy the story and folklore around La Llorona. My wife’s family is originally from Mexico, and folklore like this has been part of her life for pretty much ever. I also like how there’s a mix of Catholicism and shamanism from Raymond Cruz as a Curandero; I’ve always liked him as an actor.
- Why do people always investigate “bumps in the night” in the dark? I know this trope has been around for ages, but why? Is this a thing people actually do?
- The lead-in to the final act was a bit strange with a lot of fades to black. The ending sequence, minus the “final kill”, was actually pretty good and had a few creepy moments.
It does seem very popular within the horror community to crap on James Wan, and I can understand some of the gripes, but I think it’s lazy to write him off entirely. He really has built a cool universe with these films, and The Conjuring was fantastic; I actually enjoyed The Nun quite a bit last year. Insidious is probably my favorite that he has done, minus Darth Maul (but I don’t really let that harm my enjoyment of the film).
But here’s the thing: I think I’m just kinda done with this universe. They all feel the same now: like completely average horror films. They’re mostly very well made, but I’m just bored with them. They all feel the same. Great start, but my interest in waning. I’m sure I’ll see the next Conjuring because I see most things, and my son will probably enjoy it. But I’m bored.
Again, it’s well made and perfectly average, but give me something new. This is just my opinion though, as a lot of people do like movies like this. They typically do well in the box office too, so I think people should go out and see them. Some of these can be good gateway horror films too, and I really believe in supporting our horror community. But wow me again. Somehow, do what you did with Insidious and the Conjuring again at the beginning.