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Film / The Curse of La Llorona

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"Have they felt the sting of her tears? They will. Soon. And she will come for them."
Father Perez: Children are told to behave, listen to their elders, or La Llorona will come and steal them away.
Anna: So it’s a folktale?
Father Perez: To some.

The Curse of La Llorona is a 2019 supernatural horror film directed by Michael Chaves and written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. The film stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, and Patricia Velásquez.

Set in 1970s Los Angeles, the film tells the story of a social worker named Anna Garcia who is called to investigate a series of child abductions. Anna finds herself marked by the legendary La Llorona, otherwise known as the "Weeping Woman" who will stop at nothing until she has claimed Anna's children as her own.

The movie has several Easter Eggs referencing The Conjuring Universe, but has been officially declared a standalone movie that isn't part of that franchise.

Not to be confused with the 1963 Mexican horror film (also based on La Llorona) The Curse of the Crying Woman, or with the 2019 Guatemalan film La Llorona.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer.

The film provides examples of:

  • The '70s: The film mostly takes place in 1973.
  • Abuse Mistake: The social services take Patricia's children into custody upon finding them locked up in the closet by their mother, mistakenly believing that she is abusive. She is actually preventing La Llorona from claiming them, which happens less than a day later. Later, Anna almost suffers the same fate when the social services notice Chris and Sam's hand scars that are caused by La Llorona, although she is quickly let go.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Barred from the Afterlife: La Llorona who not only killed her children, but also broke the ultimate sin by killing herself.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Other than the opening scene, the film's Spanish lines are completely untranslated.
  • The Cameo: Father Perez appears to tell Anna about La Llorona and to offer help. He even tells her about the doll that caused him to believe in the supernatural.
  • Chekhov's Gun: La Llorona's pendant, which Anna took after their struggle in the pool. Chris uses it to distract her long enough for Anna and Rafael to reach the attic and save him and Sam.
  • The End... Or Is It?: After having apparently gotten rid of La Llorona, Anna's kids run back into the house to play, but she becomes spooked when she turns around and sees what looks like a puddle of tears.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: La Llorona had been barred from the afterlife and forced to walk the Earth until she found her lost children.
  • Foreshadowing: During the morning routine, Sam is searching for her doll, Misty, while ignoring that she is late catching the bus, showing right from the get go that she values it over important things. She loses it again later in the film and spots it in the porch. Which is outside of the warding powder that Rafael put on. Guess what she does.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Patricia's conscience eventually gets the better of her and she decides to release Anna from the closet where La Llorona locked her in so she can save her children.
  • Juxtaposed Reflection Poster: One of the posters has the titular ghostly woman (known for abducting children) stand next to two children with their backs to the camera. In the water's reflection, the children are gone and she's facing the audience.
  • The Load: Sam is obnoxiously useless compared to her brother. Twice she managed to put them in greater danger against La Llorona, first by breaking a warding circle to retrieve a doll, and then by knocking over the cover to a mirror to interrupt La Llorona actually being reached for a moment.
  • Morning Routine: Happens after the film fast forwards to 1973.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: By taking Patricia's children away from her, the social services end up making them vulnerable to La Llorona.
  • Offing the Offspring: In the backstory, La Llorona murdered her children in a fit of rage after she discovered that her husband cheated on her, before killing herself.
  • Once More, with Clarity: The opening scene shows La Llorona murdering her children, but doesn't explain why. It is only later when Father Perez tells Anna her story that her reasons are explained.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Rafael survives Patricia's gunshot that struck his shoulder.
  • Revenge by Proxy:
    • Because she regards Anna as the person responsible for the deaths of her children, Patricia exacts her revenge by setting La Llorona to hunt Anna's children.
    • La Llorona herself murdered her children as revenge against her husband's infidelity, even though they were completely innocent.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: La Llorona. This is obviously a Shout-Out to The Ring or The Grudge movies.
  • Tagline: She wants your children.
  • Wham Line: "...To some."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Patricia is not mentioned or seen again after she frees Anna from the closet. Considering that she broke into a person's house and shot someone, logic would dictate she is arrested, although it's equally likely that Anna and Rafael choose to let everything slip away, as they are all affected by La Llorona.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • In her backstory, La Llorona murdered her own children in blind rage and would kill any other child she came across when she realizes that they weren't her own.
    • Patricia too, for being willing to set up Sam and Chris to get killed by La Llorona to get her revenge on Anna. Averted when she eventually has a change of heart and helps Anna save her children in the climax.