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The Curse of La Llorona: A Full-On Horror Movie (Spoiler & Review)

Marisol Ramirez in The Curse of La Llorona (2019)

Before there were horror movies, the currency of fear that took the world by storm was folklore. While the best tales endure, few have retained their power to scare like La Llorona.

A mother, a woman scorned, a killer, a legend; she is the weeping woman who stalks the rivers and waterways, waiting in the dark to drag you away if you misbehave or stay out too late. The last thing you’ll hear is her haunting cry: ¡Ay, mis hijos!

One of the most iconic and widely known figures in Latin American folklore, La Llorona – and her terrible, eternal hunt for children’s souls to replace the ones she drowned in life – has fueled the nightmares of generations of kids and left her mark on a vast swath of the Americas. Her story has taken on a life of its own through centuries of tellings. Though there are twists and turns along the way, in every form and any language, one thing remains constant: it still scares the living daylights out of anyone who hears it.

From New Line Cinema and producer James Wan, The Curse of La Llorona brings the iconic Latin American legend to terrifying life in an original horror film, marking the feature directorial debut of Michael Chaves, the innovative filmmaker behind the award-winning short “The Maiden.”

Set in 1973 Los Angeles, the film tells the story of Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini), a social worker and widowed single mom who is struggling to balance the two roles while still coping with the loss of her husband.

As a skeptic serving a city of believers, Anna has navigated a multitude of phantoms and superstitions in her job, usually finding personal demons lurking beneath. So when she’s called to the home of Patricia Alvarez (Patricia Velasquez) and sees her two young sons locked in a closet, she interprets their terrified mother’s desperate efforts to keep them locked away as a dangerous sign of abuse.

Though Anna is determined to get Patricia the help she needs, her first concern is the safety of the children. However, because she is unaware of the genuine danger they face, Anna has no idea what she’s about to unleash – or the devastation it will cause – when she places a psychiatric hold on their mother and takes the kids into protective custody.

(L-r) ROMAN CHRISTOU as Chris and LINDA CARDELLINI as Anna Tate-Garcia and JAYNEE LYNNE KINCHEN as Samantha in New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

(L-r) ROMAN CHRISTOU as Chris and LINDA CARDELLINI as Anna Tate-Garcia and JAYNEE LYNNE KINCHEN as Samantha in New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

In the deepest hours of the night, a haunting cry echoes through the corridors of the children’s shelter where the two boys sleep. Later, their bodies were pulled from the river, as their distraught mother lays the blame at Anna’s feet, and leaves her with an eerie warning: "La Llorona has her children now, but Anna’s own could be next."

When darkness descends, and her kids hear the weeping woman’s ominous cries, Anna is forced to confront the reality of Patricia’s claims: this legendary spirit is hunting children in modern- day Los Angeles, and her small kids are her prey.

With nowhere else to turn, Anna puts her faith in Rafael Olvera (Raymond Cruz), a former priest-turned-curandero who has been preparing for this battle all his life. Bringing his great faith and arsenal of spiritual totems, Rafael bands together with Anna and her kids as they batten down the hatches and arm themselves for the onslaught when night falls and La Llorona unleashes the full force of her furious supernatural wrath.

Produced by James Wan (“Aquaman”), Gary Dauberman (screenwriter “IT” and “Annabelle” franchises) and Emile Gladstone (“Army of One”), The Curse of La Llorona is directed by Michael Chaves, marking his feature directorial debut.

The film stars Linda Cardellini (the Oscar-winning “Green Book,” Netflix’s “Bloodline”), Raymond Cruz (TV’s “Breaking Bad,” “Training Day”) and Patricia Velasquez (TV’s “Arrested Development,” “The Mummy” films), along with Marisol Ramirez (TV’s “NCIS: Los Angeles”), Sean Patrick Thomas (the “Barbershop” films, “Halloween: Resurrection”), Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen (“Selfless”) and newcomer Roman Christou.

(L-r) MARISOL RAMIREZ as La Llorona and ROMAN CHRISTOU as Chris in New Line Cinema’s horror film “THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Initially, going into the film, our expectations weren't that high. Lately, horror films have been lacking in just that, horror. Yet, with The Curse of La Llorona, it did not disappoint. It was something about the action of young children being preyed on and harmed by an eerie spirit which set this movie apart from any other. From the moment it starts, the movie is crazy fun to watch. It instantly started to scare the audience in the theater, and just as a fair warning; it doesn’t let up – all the way to the end. The Curse of La Llorona is a full-on horror movie, and is worth seeing!

The Curse of La Llorona has been rated R for its violence and terror. The film is set to release in theaters nationwide, April 19, 2019.

Rotten Tomatoes Current Score: 26%

THAheadline Score (THAscore): 8/10

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