Movie Review: The Curse of La Llorona (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

The Curse of La Llorona is the feature directorial debut of Michael Chaves, written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis and produced by James Wan, Gary Dauberman and Emile Gladstone. Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Walter Hamada, Michelle Morrissey and Michael Clear served as executive producers. The film stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz and Patricia Velasquez. Supporting cast includes Marisol Ramirez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen and newcomer Roman Christou.

Set in 1973 Los Angeles, the film tells the story of Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini), a social worker and widowed single mom 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 finds 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. But, because she is unaware of the very real 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. In the deepest hours of the night, a haunting cry echoes through the corridors of the children’s shelter where the two boys sleep… When their bodies are later pulled from the river, 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 own 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 powerful 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.

The opening scene for La Llorona sets everything up and shows how this terrifying curse began through heartbreak back in 1673. The movie then fast forwards to 1973 where the story centers around Anna Tate-Garcia (Linda Cardellini) and her two children, Chris (Roman Christou) and Samantha (Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen). What happens is, while Anna is out checking on a case, she leaves her kids in the car and La Llorna (Marisol Ramirez) immediately attaches itself to them. The young children don’t really know how to handle this haunting situation and have a hard time communicating at first.

It doesn’t take long for Anna to realize that she’s dealing with a malevolent force that wants her children for herself and will stop at nothing to get them. She pays Father Perez (Tony Amendola) and visit and tells him what’s going on so he ends up sending her to Rafael Olvera (Raymond Cruz), a former priest who will be able to do what the church is unable to do for Anna and her children. Rafael goes back to their home with them and sets up what he needs to do battle with La Llorona but once this fight begins he realizes he’s up against an extremely powerful supernatural force. In the end, Anna and her children are able to expel La Llorona from their lives with the help of their new friend.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. Each disc is black and features the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. For a limited time only, the Blu-ray Combo Pack Special Edition will include a special Pokémon Trading Card Game card.

Bottom line is, The Curse of La Llorona ended up being a fun supernatural thriller and an impressive directorial debut from Michael Chaves. This was his first feature film and I thought he delivered the goods even though the movie does have its flaws. This atmospheric chiller only brings the iconic Latin American legend to life but the movie is also connected to The Conjuring Universe. This is a mild spoiler but I want to help build your interest in the movie if you haven’t seen it yet. I just wont tell you how it’s all connected. The story about La Llorona and her tragic curse was interesting and I thought the cast did a really good job with their characters – especially the two children. I’m fully aware of the negative reviews the movie received during its theatrical run and it’s probably because of the cheap scares but you have to remember that it’s just a movie that’s geared towards horror fans. They’re cheap scares but they’re still a lot of fun! It’s a haunting ghost story that features some impressive makeup effects and a few creepy cool visuals to go along with it. All in all, I have to say I enjoyed this supernatural creeper because I went into it wanted to be entertained and the movie delivered. The Curse of La Llorona will be available on a Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital) on August 6th.

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Run Time: 93 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English Dolby Atmos / English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 / EDA

DVD Video: 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

DVD Audio: English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 / EDA

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include making of and behind-the-scenes featurettes that also has interviews with some of the cast and crew, six deleted scenes, storyboards and a digital copy of the movie.

  • The Myth of La Llorona (02:29)
  • Behind the Curse (09:43)
  • The Making of a Movie Monster (05:53)
  • Deleted Scenes (11:10)
  • Storyboards (17:32)
  • Digital Copy
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