The Curse of the Weeping Woman

In Cinemas Now

She wants your children.

One of the longest-standing legends in American folklore, the tale of La Llorona, gets its own horror film from the producers of The Conjuring.

In 1970s Los Angeles, La Llorona is stalking the night—and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope to survive La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices to keep evil at bay, on the fringes where fear and faith collide.

This is the feature debut of Michael Chaves, who is in line to direct The Conjuring 3.

Trailers

Directed by

Horror

93mins

Rating: M Supernatural themes and violence

USA

Aaron-Yap2

Aaron Yap

flicks

Unless an extraordinary lift in quality control is instated, perhaps prioritising things like fresh ideas and a reason to care, The Curse of the Weeping Woman might be my last excursion into the non-James-Wan-directed reaches of so-called The Conjuring Universe. Whatever initial excitement I had about the franchise’s lofty ambitions to weave a decades-spanning tapestry of interconnected supernatural stories and characters has now been dulled into a stupor of indifference.

Narratively almost indistinguishable from last year’s The Nun, Weeping Woman is a prime example of stock-standard that’s sometimes even more difficult to endure than something that’s breathtakingly bad. It’s a bummer really, as the Mexican folklore it’s based on—the child-drowning apparition known as La Llorona—intrigues, and could have made for a rich, elegant, atmospheric horror flick, instead of this insubstantial cheapie.

Thus far, it’s the one with the least connective tissue to the universe. Apart from an appearance by Annabelle’s Father Perez (Tony Amendola), serving as exposition-dumper giving us a crash course in La Llorona’s origins, Weeping Woman lacks the gimmicky distraction of joining-the-dots, which means all attention is drawn, rather unfavourably, towards its desiccated corpse of a story. Linda Cardellini, always reliable even in the most average of fare, deserves better, while Raymond Cruz’s show-stealing grizzled, sardonic shaman deserves his own movie.

Director Michael Chaves’ attempts to juice up the tired beats with Wan-like kineticism falls flat, his reliance on endless, arbitrary jump scares gradually elicit more boredom than frights. There doesn’t seem to be any interest here beyond making a quick buck—and it doesn’t even come with any indication of a satisfying pay-off in sight. Not even a powerful, stone-collecting purple dude waiting to be defeated, or something.

Hollywood Reporter

press

Curse is a ho-hum horror flick that seems highly unlikely to join producer James Wan's earlier projects into thriller-franchise Valhalla...

Variety (USA)

press

The predatory bogeywoman of Mexican legend haunts 1970s Los Angeles in Michael Chaves' efficiently formulaic shocker.

FilmInk (Australia)

press

...at least Annabelle was bad enough to cause a few unintentional chuckles, whereas mirth of any kind is in short supply here; as is tension, atmosphere or any compelling reason to keep watching.