The Curse of La Llorona
The Curse of La Llorona (also known as The Curse of the Weeping Woman in some markets) 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. 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. The film was produced by James Wan through his Atomic Monster Productions banner.
|The Curse of La Llorona|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Chaves|
|Music by||Joseph Bishara|
|Edited by||Peter Gvozdas|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$117.8 million|
The film premiered at South by Southwest on March 15, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on April 19, 2019, by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema. It was a box office success, grossing $117 million worldwide with a budget of $9 million, but received generally negative reviews from critics, who praised Cardellini's performance, but criticized it as derivative and overly dependent on jump scares.
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, Mexican 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, Carlos and Tomas sleepwalk numbly through the facility 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 forces 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 wrist. 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 turns to former priest Rafael Olvera to 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, which makes La Llorona briefly assume her human appearance. Chris then 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. 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.
- 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
- 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
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, in July 2018, the film was renamed The Curse of La Llorona.
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.
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. It had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 15, 2019.
The studio spent an estimated $35–40 million on domestic advertisements for the film.
As of May 19, 2019[update], The Curse of La Llorona has grossed $53 million in the United States and Canada, and $64.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $117.8 million, against a production budget of $9 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was projected was to gross $15–17 million from 3,372 theaters in its opening weekend. 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. In its second weekend the film fell 69.5% to $8 million, finishing third.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 30% based on 160 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." At Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 41 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". 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%.
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