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The Curse of La Llorona is set in the Conjuring Universe

The Curse of La Llorona Michael Chaves

If you don't want to know how THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA is connected to the Conjuring Universe, beware the SPOILERS below.

 

Throughout the film's production, reports on director Michael Chaves' feature debut THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA were clear: even though the project was set up at New Line Cinema and produced by James Wan, this was not part of Wan's "Conjuring Universe" franchise. Well, THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA was screened at the SXSW Film Festival last night and those in attendance quickly learned that this movie is indeed part of the Conjuring Universe.

The film is tied to the world of THE CONJURING, THE CONJURING 2, ANNABELLE, ANNABELLE: CREATION, and THE NUN by the appearance of a character from the least popular film of that bunch, ANNABELLE.

THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA is set in 1973 Los Angeles, and while most reviews point out that the period setting seems entirely arbitrary, it does allow Tony Amendola's ANNABELLE character Father Perez to make a cameo in the film. Since Father Perez isn't the most memorable person in the Conjuring Universe, the film then drives home the connection to other films by having Perez mention an encounter with an evil doll - with a black and white flashback to ANNABELLE assuring audiences that yes, he is talking about that evil doll.

Written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis, THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA has the following synopsis: 

La Llorona.  The Weeping Woman.  A horrifying apparition, caught between Heaven and Hell, trapped in a terrible fate sealed by her own hand.  The mere mention of her name has struck terror around the world for generations.  In life, she drowned her children in a jealous rage, throwing herself in the churning river after them as she wept in pain.  Now her tears are eternal.  They are lethal, and those who hear her death call in the night are doomed.  La Llorona creeps in the shadows and preys on the children, desperate to replace her own.  As the centuries have passed, her desire has grown more voracious… and her methods more terrifying.

In 1970s Los Angeles, La Llorona is stalking the night—and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm.  Their only hope to survive La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices to keep evil at bay, on the fringes where fear and faith collide. 

Beware of her chilling wail…she will stop at nothing to lure you into the gloom. Because there is no peace for her anguish. There is no mercy for her soul. And there is no escape from the curse of La Llorona.

The film stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez, Marisol Ramirez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, and newcomer Roman Christou, along with a special guest appearance by Tony Amendola.

Initial reactions to THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA are not overwhelmingly positive. While some reviews say it's enjoyable if you're a fan of the formula it follows, others say it's a cliché waste of the La Llorona legend. Slash Film says it feels "half-baked in just about every way", which is also how I would describe ANNABELLE and THE NUN, so this movie will fit right in as part of the Conjuring Universe.

THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA is scheduled to reach theatres on April 19th.

Chaves will continue working in the Conjuring Universe with his next film, as Wan has chosen to have him direct THE CONJURING 3.
 

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