I have always been a stubborn kid. Whenever my parents would tell me to sit still, I would be running around the house. They will tell me to go home before it gets dark and I will play hide and seek outside with my friends. I had my fair share of scolding from them. Not only that, they also used different tactics to scare me and a memorable one is a ghost or an entity abducting me. Boy, were they effective! But wait, why am I sharing you this? Well, Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Curse of La Llorona brought back those memories and fears! Bingers, here’s my take on the latest addition to the ever-expanding Conjuring universe.

The Curse of La Llorona is Warner Bros Pictures’ latest horror movie that banks on the folklore that many of us are familiar with in one way or another. While it goes back to its Mexican roots, the narrative is oh-so-familiar to Filipinos. With that said, I will admit that I had my share of gasps during the special screening held by the studio for us, bloggers, at their private cinema.

A mother's love will go a long way in The Curse of La Llorona. | The Little Binger | Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
A mother’s love will go a long way in The Curse of La Llorona. | The Little Binger | Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The story is practically simple- a ghost of a mother haunts kids and kills them. While the narrative is basic, it is the tension that carried the film. There were instances that I had myself holding my breath because the film made use of the childhood fear that my parent instilled on me growing up. The sense of dread and imminent danger made up for scenes with rather questionable character decisions.

The Curse of La Llorona started slow and really took its time in establishing the struggles of a single mother attending to the needs of her children. To a point, it reminded me of The Babadook who shares a similar plot. Both are based on a folklore but what made me more engaged with La Llorona is it knows when to heighten the fright and when to tone it down with some humor. Speaking of humor, the movie does not go all out but instead employs some of the mysticism of voodoo. This nice touch added a sense of camp to a rather slow yet tensed story.

Fear her in The Curse of La Llorona. | The Little Binger | Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
Fear her in The Curse of La Llorona. | The Little Binger | Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Curse of La Llorona hardly established itself as part of The Conjuring universe save for some characters cameo and mentions. That, in hindsight, is a good thing because it can be taken on its own without the burden of being compared to the other films in the franchise. For an adaptation of a popular folklore, the movie succeeded in expanding its story without thinning it too much with filler plots. While it had its winning moment, La Llorona is not a memorable one but rather one of those horror movies that you’ll pop on a Saturday evening with friends for some scare and laughter.

Director: Michael Chaves
Cast: Linda Cardellini, Patricia Velasquez, Raymond Cruz
Binge-level: 3.5 out of 5 stars


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