Taking place within the universe of The Conjuring, The Curse of the Weeping Woman (or The Curse of La Llorona internationally) is the first feature length work from director Michael Chaves. With strong casting choices throughout, what would be an otherwise typical film for the genre was transformed into a well-balanced, well-paced and thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Based upon the Mexican folk story ‘La Llorona’, or The Weeping Woman, who drowned her two sons in an act of revenge when jilted by her husband for a younger bride, La Llorona (Marisol Ramirez) was cursed to roam the Earth searching for children to replace those she lost. It is said that there is no escape from her once you hear her weeping and feel her tears against your skin.
Thus we find Anna (Linda Cardellini), a case worker and single mother to two children following the death of her husband, when Patricia (played by Patricia Velasquez who was Anck-Su-Namun in The Mummy Franchise… The Brendan Fraser Mummy Franchise… The good one) curses Cardellini’s children to be the next in La Llorona’s sights, leading her kids to get the fright of their short lives in a great little car sequence. Strong performances by Chris (Roman Christou) and his sister Sam (Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen) who deliver noteworthy scenes throughout the film.
Many innovative effects make an appearance with a fun sequence near the pool involving an umbrella, using simple masking techniques that would make Georges Méliès proud, but in the critical eye of our 4k resolution era may come off a little cheesy, yet I find myself applauding the filmmakers for allowing creative risks to be taken. Another moment that stays with you is an eerie bathroom scene will see you bathing using the buddy system.
The pace of the film takes a turn when Anna seeks out the assistance of former priest Rafael Olvera (Raymond Cruz) who completely steals the show with his dry wit and deadpan delivery that make you want to come back for more.
With cinematography by Hollywood royalty Michael Burgess and James Wan in the producer’s seat you know you’re in for a good time. Paying homage to recurring themes within the universe to connect stories in a way that can only advance its reach while at the same time terrifying audiences.
Not quite scary enough to provoke cardiac arrest but enjoyable, particularly with a deadpan dose of Raymond Cruz.
- Surgeon Richard Lovegrove & Anesthesiologist Kelsi Williams