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MOVIE REVIEW

The Curse of La Llorona

also known as “The Children,” “The Curse of the Weeping Woman,” “A gyászoló asszony átka,” “A Maldição da Chorona,” “A Maldição da Mulher Que Chora,” “Blestemul femeii care plânge,” “Itkevän naisen kirous,” “La Llorona,” See more »
MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for violence and terror.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Horror Mystery Thriller
Length:
1 hr. 33 min.
Year of Release:
2019
USA Release:
April 19, 2019 (wide—3,372 theaters)
DVD: August 6, 2019
Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

Protecting children

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

Mexican folk ghost horror / evil supernatural tales

What does the Bible say about GHOSTS?

Can souls be caught between Heaven and Hell?

What does the Bible reveal about DEATH And what is eternal life and eternal death?

apparitions

Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

About Roman Catholicism

An open letter to Roman Catholics

What issues often separate Roman Catholics from God? Answer

QUIZ—Catholicism and Protestantism.
Do you think like a Protestant or a Catholic?

Personal testimonies of former devout Roman Catholics…

Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures
Featuring: Linda CardelliniAnna Tate-Garcia
Patricia VelasquezPatricia Alvarez
Tony AmendolaFather Perez
Raymond CruzRafael Olvera
Raymond CruzLa Llorona
Sean Patrick ThomasDetective Cooper
Jaynee-Lynne KinchenSamantha
Madeleine McGrawApril
John Marshall JonesMr. Hankins
Paul RodriguezOfficer Claro
Roman Christou … Chris
Irene Keng … Donna
See all »
Director: Michael Chaves
Producer: Atomic Monster
New Line Cinema
See all »
Distributor: Distributor: New Line Cinema. Trademark logo.
New Line Cinema, division of Warner Bros. Pictures

“She wants your children.”

The year is 1968. Anna Tate-Garcia works as a Social Worker for the Los Angeles Department of Child Protective Services. Anna is one of the most prominent Social Workers for CPS in Los Angeles, in spite of many doubting her abilities, due in part to the recent loss of her husband and having to raise her two children on her own, Christopher and Samantha.

Still, there is one case, in particular, that she has really connected to (though, due her husband’s death, she had to take a leave of absence, I believe). It is a case involving a mother, Patricia Alvarez and her two sons, Carlos and Tomas. Anna is informed by her superior that someone needs visit Patricia’s house to check on her due to a recent call from a neighbor regarding Carlos and Tomas. Anna says she is willing and able to go, saying, “Who better to relate with Patricia than someone who is going through the same situation as her?” Sound logic.

As Anna is checking in on Patricia, she notices strange oddities about the house. The blinds are closed, there are crosses all over the walls, pictures of the Virgin Mary, candles, the whole nine yards. Most importantly, no sign of Tomas or Carlos. Then Anna finds a locked door. Patricia fights Anna away from the door, but eventually Anna opens it to see Tomas and Carlos locked inside. Why? Patricia is hiding them from La Llorona—The Weeping Woman. Now Patricia fears La Llorona will come for her sons.

Time passes. Patricia goes to jail for child endangerment. Anna receives a call late one night. She takes her children in the car and arrives at the scene. Two child-like bodies lay on the road, surrounded by police and paramedics… it’s Carlos and Tomas. Apparently they drowned in the river. Patricia is there and screams to Anna: “You did this! She found them!” “Who?” Anna asks. “La Llorona!”

Soon Christopher and Samantha begin hearing La Llorona’s cries and become “marked” by her. It’s only a matter of time before she gets them too. The clock is ticking…

I think when I reviewed “The Conjuring 2,” I used to call James Wan the new “master of terror,” giving filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro and M. Night Shyamalan a run for their money. However, after having just witnessed, “The Curse of La Llorona,” I take some of that back.

Indeed, there are some genuine moments of terror in this latest entry (if you really can CALL it an entry to The Conjuring franchise, as others have pointed out), but most of the terror comes from the appearance of La Llorona herself. Not only would children be frightened of this creature, I’d be frightened of her, and I’m a full grown adult. The R-rating for this film, though, is questionable. In general, I found the original The Conjuring much more horrifying than this film ever is in violence and terror.

However, the use of incredibly dark undertones in this film may have pushed the limit of what is acceptable in a PG-13 film. The performances are, honestly, rather stale. I felt sorry for the young leads. They didn’t get as much screen time as they should have (as their performances were rather decent), and the script and dialog they were presented with must have been hard to work with (more on that later).

The overall premise is interesting (I mean La Llorona is legendary!), but there is so much they COULD and SHOULD have done that they DIDN’T do (e.g., build on the plot, the character relationships between the families, etc.), and the short run time (93 minutes) didn’t help.

Content of Concern

Violence: Heavy. People are thrown around the room at various times. A child is dragged. La Llorona is seen drowning her two children in a flashback at the beginning of the film and later. Two children are found deceased in the middle of the road (their bodies are covered under sheets). Someone is choked. Are person is shot in the chest. There’s an underwater struggle between a character and La Llorona. La Llorona tries to suffocate someone in a bathtub. La Llorona marks children by creating burns on their arms (we see this). People are accused of child abuse.

Profanity/Vulgarity: Moderate. Sh*t (1), G*d (4)

Sex/Nudity: A young girl is seen taking a bath twice (we see her from her shoulders up). We heard about how La Llorona went crazy and killed her sons when her boyfriend (or husband?) cheated on her and ran off with the other woman.

Occult: Moderately Heavy. Anna and her family first consult a priest to help them get rid of La Llorona. When the priest tells them it could take several weeks for the church to get involved, he suggests the use of a “shaman” (someone who used to work for the church but no longer does and uses both traditional and “folk medicine”). In the movie, the Shaman’s office has vials of medicines and pagan crafts and devices. In fact, in determining the level of La Llorona’s power over the family and in how to trap La Llorona, the Shaman uses both traditional Catholic practices, as well as pagan devices such as candles, sage, dreamcatchers, eggs, etc.

Other: Anna and a co-worker share an alcoholic drink a couple times.

Themes

Anna expresses surprise that the Shaman fell away from the church. He responds, “Fall away from the church? Yes. From God? No.” It’s an interesting notion for sure. Can you have Church, but not God? Can you have God, but not Church? I don’t think it’s either/or. Remember, a Church is not JUST a building. It is the body of believers that come together for one purpose… to serve Christ. Scripture has this to say this about the makeup of the Church and our roles as members of the Church (with a capital C)…

“Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.” —1 Corinithians 12:27

“For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” —1 Corinithians 12:12

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord” —Ephesians 2:19-22

Who is the head of the Church… Jesus…

“He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” —Colossians 1:18

CHURCH—Why should Christians go come together with other believers? How important is it? Answer

Final Thoughts

What is there left to really to say about the “Curse of La Llorona”? I think, honestly, The Conjuring series as whole is seeing its final days. It doesn’t bode well when half the audience laughed through most of the showing I attended. To make matters worse, there were only about 10 people including myself on a weeknight during Spring Break.

I really don’t recommend anyone seeing this film. It should definitely be OFF LIMITS to children; they’ll have nightmares. The violence and occult themes presented should deter Christians from seeing it.

  • Violence: Heavy
  • Occult: Moderately Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Nudity: Mild
  • Sex: Minor
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Mild— • “sh*t”

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments from young people
Positive—I found myself walking out of the theater having really enjoyed the film. As a Christian, I feel I have a good understanding of what the Bible says about demons and evil, and I’m definitely not immune to these movies (we had to turn of The Nun and throw it out halfway through). That being said, I think that, for the most part, the film does a good job of promoting the fact that the only thing that can fight evil and win is God and his power. Other than those weird egg rituals and the maracas, most of the stuff falls in line Biblically and spiritually (I mean, they defeat La Llarona by literally stabbing it with a Cross).

As a film, I understand most of the problems people have with it. There are a lot of jump scares, which at times land and at times feel cheap. I really don’t understand why James Wan has taken a back seat to other, less talented directors. Michael Chavez isn’t bad, but Wan is far superior and this is his series, so the fact that he’s only directed both Conjuring movies is disappointing. Otherwise, the performances were pretty average (seeing Velma again was pretty weird), and as a whole, the film is just pretty well made but significantly lifted up by the refreshing spiritual aspects.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Luke Mcclinton, age 15 (USA)

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