Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV
I’m surprised that The Conjuring world building has gone on this long and been this successful (yes, I know Annabelle and The Nun weren’t works of art), as the horror world is usually filled with a million sequels, but not the type of world building that has gone on with the release of The Conjuring a few years back. Annabelle was a creepy little horror flick that segued off of the original Conjuring, but after that the powers that be decided to keep jutting off into side stories. The Nun was an absolute abortion of a movie, so I was just a little bit leery of The Curse of La Llorona. I mean, I like Mexican inspired (and in this case directed) horror films, as there are some truly fantastic movies from the like of Del Toro and J.A. Bayona, but the sour taste left from The Nun was still fresh in my mouth. I ended up skipping La Llorona (even though I NEVER miss a horror film in theaters if I can help it) and instead decided to wait till the home video release to give the movie a spin.
Honestly, The Curse of La Llorona is pretty good. It’s not The Conjuring level, but easily on par with the first Annabelle and The Conjuring 2 in many ways. It’s definitely lower budget than the core Conjuring movies, and actually has the least telegraphing from another movie. By that I mean the little hints and setups that the previous films had in other movie. For example, The Nun was taken from the creepy Nun picture in The Conjuring 2, and Annabelle (both films) came from the creepy doll in The Conjuring. However, The Curse of La Llorona only references Annabelle by linking in father Perez (Tony Amendola, who will forever be Master Bratac from Stargate to me) who was the priest in Annabelle. Otherwise La Llorona isn’t really connected to some demonic ornament from the other films in any way.
Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini, Avengers: Age of Ultron) is a widowed social worker with two young children over her own. After visiting a client whose children have gone truant once more, she inadvertently unleashes a demonic spirit known as La Llorona (the weeping woman, a famous Spanish folk lore character) onto her house. It seems that her client was under attack by La Llorona, and by visiting and exposing her children to the spirit, Anna allowed La Llorona to murder both children. Calling down vengeance from the spirit, the grieving mother turns the gaze of the evil spirit on Anna and her two children.
Cardellini does a solid job with the role that she’s been given as the mama bear protecting her cubs, and the general ambiance of the film is actually quite appealing. The Spanish flair to the movie is nicely done (but not overdone) and the creepiness of La Lloronoa is palpable). However, the movie relies a bit too much on typical jump scares, complete with crashing moments, spirits coming out of odd directions, and HUUUUGE wallops of bass to make the audience jump. It’s not that these are badly done or are a huge liability, it’s just that jump scares are the lowest form of “scares” in the horror movie universe. They’re well worn tropes that can get a bit repetitive. Still, the film is impressively directed at times by newcomer Michael Chaves (who is set up to direct The Conjuring 3 coming in 2020), and the acting is well done (outside of Raymond Cruz, who kind of phones it in a little bit.)
Rated R for violence and terror
• Behind the Curse
• The Making of a Movie Monster
• Deleted Scenes
I really liked the premise and general handling of The Curse of La Llorana, but it IS hampered a bit by some directorial claustrophobia. Michael Chaves doesn’t really give the film room to grow and breathe a lot, and is instead reliant on too many old fashioned jump scares. The acting is commendable, the ambiance creepy, and I liked that this was actually way scarier than last years abysmal The Nun ended up being. The Blu-ray is very good , with the audio being an absolutely jaw dropping experience. Extras are a tad scarce, but if you’ve liked The Conjuring spin-offs so far, than this is a good entry into that universe.
Starring: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez, Marisol Ramirez, Jaynee-Lynn Kinchen, Roman Christou
Directed by: Michael Chaves
Written by: Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core) English, Spanish, Portuguese, French (Canadian) DD 5.1, English DVS
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 93 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: Own The Curse of La Llorona on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on July August 6, or Own It Early on Digital on July 16.
Recommendation: Fun Watch