The Movie: 5/10
Supernatural stuff, I love it. Scary movies, love’em. Legends and myths and stories that scare children into behaving, always interesting. The thing is, sometimes even when you put all that fun juicy horror movie ingredients together, it doesn’t always make a great cinematic cake. I have no idea why I’m talking about cake, maybe it’s lunchtime. We’ll carry on, and I promise, no more baked good references.
A young widowed mother of two becomes terrorized by a legendary creepy ghost lady who kills children. Yike. I’m into it. I mean, it’s not very often you get stories that go the direction of putting children at real risk. Yes, we have Jurassic Park, It, and Stranger Things, but still, it has to be done just right or it’s a gimmick, not a story element. In La Llorona it really is part of the story and it feels like the right way to go, even when you think, “Damn, kids ain’t safe in this movie!”
On the other end of this story, a couple hundred years ago, there was a young mother of two who did the deed. She murdered her children in a fit of rage and then she died and roams around trying to find children to replace hers. It’s a reasonable legend, sufficiently unsettling.
The cast averages out to be OK. I like our young mothers, even the ghostly one. The kids are all very good, considering what they have to pretend to be afraid, a lot! The problem is that we have THOSE characters who roam around the edges of the story. We have a priest who does a lot of exposition for us and is so incredibly monotonous I can barely remember him. No disrespect to the actor, but the character is a real dud. We then have the Shaman who does more exposition and claims he can rid this family of mom #2. He’s more than a dud, he ruins most of the scenes he’s in, and I have to say it’s the actor who does not bring much to the role. I hate to say that, but I confirmed with my husband, Mr. Ascully, after the movie as we discussed it and he had the exact same reaction.
The stunts and scary moments and special effects are all fine, mostly. I had a couple jumps and a little tough of being creeped out from time to time. I think that was because the dead mom, wearing a long lacy dress, looked moldy and musty and I was just really grossed out by that. On the subject of costume and make up, I really did not like the make up on the ghostly mom. It looked like something I would do on myself for a Halloween party. Sorry folks, but this is the 21st century and if you are trying to convince me that a live performer is a dead rotting ghostly corpse, it has to be better than the ghosts in An American Werewolf in London.
Overall I would say La Llorona is a good story, just not executed in a way that left me getting nervous every time I hear a bump in the night.
- The Myth Of La Llorona (3 Minutes) – Cast and crew discuss the folklore of this horrific tale.
- Behind The Curse (10 Minutes) – The challenges of taking this classic Mexican tale and translating it to a horror movie are discussed.
- The Making Of A Movie Monster (6 Minutes) – A look at the title character and the makeup effects used to bring her to life/death.
- Deleted Scenes (11 Minutes) – Seven deleted scenes that were removed to keep the run-time in check.
- Storyboards (18 Minutes) – Hand drawn storyboards of the films key scenes.
- Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Copy
Audio & Video: 8/10
The Curse Of La Llarona comes to Blu-ray courtesy of Warner and a 1080P transfer in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The film mostly takes place in low light and shots are full of digital noise that adds a low budget feel to the whole production. Having said that the black levels are good and the 1970’s setting is suitably muted. Colors are good and facial detail is fine for the most part. Until a 4K release comes around this version is as good as it gets.
Amazingly for a Blu-ray you actually get the full Dolby Atmos track that is usually reserved for the 4K release. This is a very intense and engaging track throughout the entire film and is mostly responsible for the scares that occur. Dialog is clear and clean and LFE is never overwhelming.
Overall Score 5/10