I absolutely loved this film. It isn’t often I wholeheartedly say that about a horror movie, but this one did not disappoint. It was a film which kept me on edge all the way through as I was always wondering when La Llorona would strike – I like that!
La Llorona is the weeping woman and her story is told to children to make them behave. The story dates back to 1673, when a beautiful young woman met and fell in love with a handsome young man. They had two sons and, for all intents and purposes, had a wonderful life, that is until he ran off with a younger model. In a fit of jealous rage, she took from him that which he held most dear – his children – drowning them in the stream. When she had calmed down and realised what she had done, she was horrified and took her own life in the same way. It is said that La Llorona walks the earth searching for children to replace her own and that if she touches you, you are marked by her tears (manifests as nasty burn marks resembling cigarette burns).
The film follows Anna Garcia (Cardellini) and her two children. Anna is a social worker and is brought in on a case to investigate suspected child abuse. When she gets to her client, she finds the woman has locked her children in a closet for their protection. The marks on their arms leads authorities to suspect abuse. The death of these children leads to Anna’s own children becoming the target of La Llorona and she has to join forces with an ex-priest to destroy her.
As well as the stomach gripping, breath-holding moments, the film also had a poignant moment when I wondered whether the children would ‘neutralise the threat’, but the unveiling of a mirror put paid to that!
As with all scary movies, there has to be a way to destroy the ‘demon’, and James Wan used something which I have only seen in slasher films to do this. I will not tell you what it is, but if you have seen Friday 13th, then you know that Jason Voorhees Achilles’ heel is water from the lake in which he was drowned as a child. For me, this brings the story full circle, and I like that… a lot.
Full marks to James Wan for this production, and I eagerly await his next Conjuring Universe instalment – Annabelle Comes Home. The trailer looked awesome!