The Curse of La Llorona

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The Curse of La Llorona
The curse of la llorona poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Chaves
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Music byJoseph Bishara
CinematographyMichael Burgess
Edited byPeter Gvozdas
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • March 15, 2019 (2019-03-15) (SXSW)
  • April 19, 2019 (2019-04-19) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Spanish
Budget$9 million[1]
Box office$123.1 million[1]

The Curse of La Llorona (also known as The Curse of the Weeping Woman in some markets)[2] is a 2019 American supernatural horror film directed by Michael Chaves in his directorial debut, and written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. It is the sixth installment in the Conjuring Universe franchise.[3][4] Based on the Mexican folklore of La Llorona, the film stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz and Patricia Velásquez, and follows a mother in Los Angeles 1973 who must save her children from a malevolent spirit who is trying to steal them away.[5][6] The film was produced by James Wan through his Atomic Monster Productions banner.

The film premiered at South by Southwest on March 15, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on April 19, 2019. It grossed $123 million worldwide with a budget of $9 million and received mixed to negative reviews from critics.

Plot[edit]

In 1673 Mexico, a family plays in a field, and the youngest son gives his mother a necklace. The boy closes his eyes briefly, and when he opens them, his family is missing. The boy finds his mother drowning his brother in a stream. Horrified, he runs away but his mother catches him and seemingly drowns him too.

300 years later, in 1973 Los Angeles, Hispanic caseworker Anna Tate-Garcia investigates the disappearance of client Patricia Alvarez's two children. Anna arrives at Patricia's house for a welfare check. Inside, she finds the children locked behind a door, and Patricia attacks her and is taken away by the police. Patricia's children, brothers Carlos and Tomas, tell Anna to keep them in the room so they are protected. Ignoring their warnings, she brings the boys to the police. At a child services shelter, Tomas sleepwalks numbly through the facility and Carlos follows him until Tomas points to a mirror where both boys see a woman clad in a white dress. The mirror cracks and the woman grabs Carlos.

Anna is called to investigate the deaths of the boys, found drowned in a river. Bringing her children Chris and Sam, she tells them to stay in the car while she investigates the murder scene. She hears Patricia, accused of her sons' murders, screaming that it was Anna's fault for taking her sons, and that Patricia had tried to stop the malevolent force of the woman in white, "La Llorona".

Chris leaves the car to investigate himself and is seized by La Llorona, leaving burn marks on his arm. He rushes back to the car, but La Llorona appears again and frightens him into shock. The next day, Sam is also grabbed by the spirit, leaving identical burn marks on her arm. Anna interviews Patricia, who has an alibi for the time of her sons' deaths and tells her about La Llorona. Patricia reveals that in her hatred for Anna, she prayed to La Llorona to take Anna's children and bring her own boys back. Anna encounters La Llorona when the spirit attempts to drown Sam in the bathtub. She saves Sam, and the ghost leaves burn marks on Anna's arm too. The next morning, Anna seeks help from Father Perez, who relates the case to his previous experiences with a haunted porcelain doll. Perez tells Anna about former priest Rafael Olvera, who can help get rid of the entity. Rafael arrives at Anna's house, setting up candles and other items to protect the family. In the night, La Llorona repeatedly attacks them and attempts to drown Anna and Sam in the pool.

Patricia arrives, attempting to give Anna's children to La Llorona in exchange for her own. Sam and Chris flee while Anna pleads with Patricia in the basement; Patricia comes to her senses and releases Anna, allowing her to help her children. Chris delays La Llorona by showing her a necklace Anna took off of her in the pool, which makes La Llorona briefly assume her human appearance. Sam then accidentally unveils a mirror which takes La Llorona out of her human appearance and proceeds to attack the children. Anna stabs her through the chest with a cross made from a Fire Tree – trees that grew by the river where La Llorona drowned her children, the only 'witness' to her crime – and the spirit is destroyed.

Anna and her children thank Rafael for his help; as the children run back into the house, Anna sees what looks like a puddle of tears.

Cast[edit]

  • Linda Cardellini as Anna Tate-Garcia
  • Roman Christou as Chris Garcia
  • Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen as Samantha Garcia
  • Raymond Cruz as Rafael Olvera
  • Patricia Velásquez as Patricia Alvarez
  • Marisol Ramirez as La Llorona
  • Sean Patrick Thomas as Detective Cooper
  • Tony Amendola as Father Perez[7]
  • Oliver Alexander as Carlos
  • Aiden Lewandowski as Tomas
  • Irene Keng as Donna
  • DeLaRosa Rivera as David Garcia
  • Madeleine McGraw as April
  • Sophia Santi as Bocanegra / Female customer
  • Jethan Camarena as Simon
  • Fontana Sim as Carol
  • Scarlett Black as Millie
  • Don Roberson as Wealthy Man

Production[edit]

On October 9, 2017, it was announced that New Line Cinema would distribute a horror film directed by Michael Chaves, with James Wan and It and Annabelle writer Gary Dauberman serving as producers. Then titled The Children,[8] in July 2018, the film was renamed The Curse of La Llorona.[9] In October 2017, Linda Cardellini was cast to play a single mother and the lead character.[8] It was also announced that Sean Patrick Thomas and Raymond Cruz would co-star in the film.[10]

After the first trailer's release, it was revealed that Tony Amendola was returning as Father Perez, last seen in the film Annabelle. The character gives direction to the family being tormented by the titular spirit and relates the haunting to his experiences with the demonic entity attached to the doll.[11] In March 2019, it was revealed that The Curse of La Llorona is part of The Conjuring Universe, making it the sixth installment in the franchise.[12][13][11]

Principal photography on the film wrapped in November 2017.[14]

Release[edit]

The Curse of La Llorona was theatrically released in the United States and several other territories on April 19, 2019, by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema.[15] It had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 15, 2019.[16] The studio spent an estimated $35–40 million on domestic advertisements for the film.[17]

The Curse of La Llorona was released on Digital HD on July 16, 2019, and is expected to be released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 8, 2019.[18]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Curse of La Llorona has grossed $55.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $67.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $122 million, against a production budget of $9 million.[1]

In the United States and Canada, the film was projected to gross $15–17 million from 3,372 theaters in its opening weekend.[19] It made $11.8 million on its first day, including $2.75 million from Thursday night previews, and went on to over-perform, grossing $26.5 million in its opening weekend and topping the box office; 49% of the opening weekend audience was Hispanic.[17] In its second weekend the film fell 69.5% to $8 million, finishing third.[20]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 30% based on 172 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Content to coast on jump scares rather than tap into its story's creepy potential, The Curse of La Llorona arrives in theaters already broken."[21][22] At Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 41 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[23] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it 2.5 out of 5 stars and a "definite recommend" of 48%.[17]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2019 California on Location Awards Location Manager of the Year - Studio Feature Film Adam Robinson Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards Best Horror Poster The Curse of La Llorona Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Awards Most Frightened Performance Linda Cardellini Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Curse of La Llorona (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
  2. ^ "The Curse of the Weeping Woman". YouTube. October 18, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  3. ^ Salemme, Danny (March 16, 2019). "The Curse of La Llorona is Part of The Conjuring Universe". Screen Rant. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  4. ^ Carbone, Gina (March 17, 2019). "How The Curse of La Llorona Is Connected To The Conjuring Universe". Cinemablend. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 9, 2017). "Linda Cardellini to Star in James Wan Horror-Thriller 'The Children' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  6. ^ Squires, John (October 9, 2017). "Linda Cardellini Will Star in New Line's James Wan-Produced 'The Children'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Navarro, Meagan (April 18, 2019). "[Review] 'The Curse of La Llorona' Scares Up Its Own Space in 'The Conjuring' Universe".
  8. ^ a b Barkan, Jonathan (October 9, 2017). "Linda Cardellini to Take on The Children in James Wan-Produced Feature". Dread Central. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  9. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (July 19, 2018). "'The Curse Of La Llorona' Terrifies ScareDiego With First Look, 'It: Chapter 2' & 'The Nun' Debut Unnerving New Footage – Comic-Con". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  10. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 11, 2017). "'Barbershop's' Sean Patrick Thomas Joins James Wan's Horror Film 'The Children'". Variety. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Navarro, Meagan (March 16, 2019). "[SXSW Review] 'The Curse of La Llorona' Scares Up Its Own Space in 'The Conjuring' Universe". Bloody Disgusting!. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  12. ^ Mendelson, Scott. "Who Gets to Decide If 'Curse of La Llorona' Is Part of The 'Conjuring' Universe?". Forbes. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  13. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony. "Will 'Shazam!' Be Cursed By 'Llorona' Over Easter Weekend?-Box Office Preview". Deadline.
  14. ^ "That's a wrap! Had an amazing time working with old friends and now the best new ones on The Children directed by Michael Chaves. #setlifeisthebestlife 🎥🎬🎭". Instagram.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (July 19, 2018). "Film News Roundup: Horror Movie Re-Titled 'The Curse of La Llorona' for Spring Release". Variety. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  16. ^ Nolfi, Joey (February 6, 2019). "Pet Sematary remake to world premiere at 2019 SXSW Film Festival". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 21, 2019). "Lowest Easter Weekend At The B.O. Since 2005 Despite $26M Purse Of 'La Llorona' – Saturday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  18. ^ "The Curse of La Llorona DVD Release Date August 6, 2019". DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 16, 2019). "Will 'Shazam!' Be Cursed By 'Llorona' Over Easter Weekend? – Box Office Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  20. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 28, 2019). "Avengers: Endgame' Rests At $357M+ Opening Record; Eyes $33M+ Monday & Record $180M 2nd Frame; Weekend Biz Hits $401M+ High". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  21. ^ "The Curse of La Llorona (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  22. ^ Fujitani, Ryan (April 18, 2019). "The Curse of La Llorona is a Crying Shame". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  23. ^ "The Curse of La Llorona Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 5, 2019.

External links[edit]