La Llorona feels far too much like the spin off that it is, rather than anything more important
Should ‘The Conjuring Universe’ be admired?
It’s certainly an interesting question. There’s a power in what James Wan has created that most horror franchises would pay millions for. With just six films, the franchise has taken nearly $2 billion, despite only half of the features receiving a positive critical response. There is an air about the films that draws in audiences in unprecedented numbers, and its connectivity and understanding is very impressive.
But how long will this continue? Marvel has kept its momentum with quality as well as quantity, rather than relying on past successes, and The Conjuring seems to be dropping off at an alarming pace. The Curse Of La Llorona is definitely an improvement on The Nun, but that is not the bar it should be setting itself, coming off as far more average than the early features whilst still obsessing over jump scares.
Anna (Linda Cardellini) is a care worker in 1970’s Los Angeles. Finding two children locked in a dark cupboard alerts her to a strange presence from the depths of Mexican folklore. La Llorona, the woman in white, is quickly released, and after murdering both boys, she takes up new targets, far closer to Anna’s home.
La Llorona is bitingly thin on plot, and instead spends its time with long build up to inevitable appearances of the woman in white. There are no twists or surprises gripping the film together, but the script certainly doesn’t allow for these to be implemented even if the producers had wanted too. La Llorona feels far too much like the spin off that it is, rather than anything more important.
Linda Cardellini is admittedly impressive as part of her current cinematic resurgence, but her performance very much runs the show, and that leaves the story to amble towards its final destination, rather than becoming its own force, making La Llorona a fearful character.
The picture feels as empty and lifeless as it is, and that doesn’t bode well for a future of spin offs and side pieces to The Conjuring’s ever expanding universe. There is very little emphasis on expanding what is there, only horror in the moment, and La Llorona is perhaps worse than even The Nun for moving forward the franchise’s vision and showing how impressive it truly could become.
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