The Curse of La Llorona is now the sixth film in the ever burgeoning and very profitable Conjuring Universe. It is also the first spin-off film I have seen in the series as whilst I’ve quite enjoyed the two main conjuring films I never found myself interested in the other spin offs (Annabelle, Annabelle Creation and The Nun).
Starting in 1673 Mexico the film shows us the inspiration for the folk tale of La Llorona, otherwise known as the weeping woman, a mother who drowned her children. The main plot though is in 1973 where child protection services social worker Anna Garcia (Linda Cardellini) is investigating the well being of some children. However she stumbles into a situation where she finds herself needing to protect her own children from La Llorona.
In terms of connection to the Conjuring world the thread is quite thin. With Father Perez (Tony Amendola) from the Annabelle films appearing in a couple of scenes just to tell us this haunting is happening in the same universe. Otherwise the story is very much a generic evil spirit story with a hugely creepy woman in old clothes who makes those eerie jerky head movements. Thankfully the running time is swift at only 93 minutes because until the final twenty minutes when unorthodox faith healer Rafael Olivera (Raymond Cruz) is introduced I was finding myself wishing for the end. Cruz brings some much needed fun to the proceedings with some intentionally very funny moments.
Elsewhere Cardellini is a solid lead and allows the film to have a fun moment when her kids are watching Scooby Doo on TV, Cardellini having of course played Velma in the film versions of the show. It is also worth saying the make up and jump scares are pretty good for this sort of film as well.
Whilst it is a shame the film is mostly disappointing, one thing is for certain, with their relatively low budgets and huge returns The Conjuring universe is going nowhere. At the moment The Conjuring 3, Annabelle Comes Home, The Nun 2 and The Crooked Man all in various stages of development and it seems Warner Brothers are on to a good thing.
Side note – if you like movie posters check out the posters for this film, I think they are quite good.