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Movie Reviews

Posted at: Apr 17, 2019, 6:55 PM; last updated: Apr 17, 2019, 6:55 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW - THE CURSE OF THE WEEPING WOMAN

A not-so-scary spectre

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Film: The curse of the Weeping Woman (The Curse of La Llorona)

  • Cast: Linda Cardellini, Patricia Velásquez, Sean Thomas, Raymond Cruz, Jaynee-lynne Kinchen, Roman Christou, Madeleine Mcgraw, John Marshall Jones, Irene Keng
  • Director: Michael Chaves
A not-so-scary spectre
A still from The curse of the Weeping Woman

Johnson Thomas

An addition to the Conjuring –Annabelle universe, this horror story which has its origins in 17th century Mexico, sets up quite a few genre tropes all the way to a curse driven culmination. The genre fans are expected to be excited by these stereotypical manoeuvres through night-time renderings. “The Curse of La Llorona,” is efficient in its formulaic overtures but lacks the skillsets to be a shocker.  Inspired by an age old Latin American folk tale, the film has a titular bogeywoman who searches for young children to be sacrificed so that she can she can get back her own,

Set in Los Angeles during the early 1970s, the narrative focuses around a recent young cop-widow Anna (Linda Cordellini), a social worker by profession, whose two children Sam and Chris, played by Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen and Roman Christou, are now at risk because Alvarez, the mother of the two boys who were killed under her care, decides on an eye-for-an-eye cry for vengeance. The narrative is pretty much predictable with its obvious red-herrings and overdone genre tricks. What’s interesting though, is the attempt to forge a link to the ‘Annabelle’ universe with Tony Amendola making his presence felt as Father Perez. The recurring theme here is not vengeance but a trade-off meant to resurrect La Llorona’s two children. But the resultant is way off base. Writers Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis fail to make the scenario entirely believable – as a result, the direction feels sloppy with little tension and all-too-feeble scares. The exorcism bit with the curandero-shaman using fairly new rituals and tools raises-up some interest.

First-time feature director Michael Chaves uses a slow build-up to create effect but the tension is missing and the frequent appearance of La Llorona makes her seem more pitiable than scary – even though she is decrepit and shorn of all vanity dressed in a tattered white gown and veil. Linda Cordellini and the rest of the cast are sincere in their efforts to make it all seem believable but the effect wears off pretty soon. The plot doesn’t rouse-up from its pursuit of the mundane until the climax, where Anna, her children and the curandero battle the malevolent spirit. This is not a classic horror film –just a fairly entertaining one!

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